Senior Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi member gets 12 months over ‘pepper spray’ case

The defendant tried to convince a gang affiliated with the Yamaguchi-gumi (emblem shown above) to defect
The defendant tried to convince a gang affiliated with the Yamaguchi-gumi (emblem shown above) to defect

TOKYO (TR) – A high-ranking Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi member who pepper-sprayed rival Yamaguchi-gumi members was sentenced to 12 months in jail on Wednesday.

The Kobe District Court delivered its verdict for defendant Shinichi Kobayashi, 50, who was charged with assault for pepper-spraying Yamaguchi-gumi members in Chuo Ward, Kobe, in March, the Sankei Shimbun reports (May 18).

Judge Naoki Kuga sentenced Kobayashi to 12 months in prison and four years of probation for “brawling in broad daylight on a public road. The impact on society cannot be underestimated.”

The prosecution was seeking a prison term of 18 months.

The judge pointed out that ever since the Yamaguchi-gumi split up last August, Kobayashi had been trying to convince a gang affiliated with the Yamaguchi-gumi called the Kishimoto-gumi to defect to the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi side.

The court recognized that the pepper-spraying resulted from the pursuit of Yamaguchi-gumi vehicles that were seen emerging from Kishimoto-gumi territory, and other provocative actions.

According to the ruling, Kobayashi pepper-sprayed the faces and other areas of Yamaguchi-gumi members on Warizuka Road on March 5 at around 11:40 a.m.

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