Japan police: 4 deaths connected to Yamaguchi-gumi since split 1 year ago

A turf war between Japan's biggest gang and its chief rival has resulted in car-ramming incidents and shootings

Shinobu Tsukasa is the top boss of the Yamaguchi-gumi
Shinobu Tsukasa is the top boss of the Yamaguchi-gumi

TOKYO (TR) – The National Police Agency announced on Friday that four deaths have occurred in connection with the split of the Yamaguchi-gumi and formation of a rival syndicate one year ago, reports TV Asahi (Aug. 27).

Since the Yamaguchi-gumi, which is Japan’s largest criminal organization, initiated its dissolution on August 27, 2015, four of its members or members of the rival Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi have been killed as a part of a continuing feud. All told, police have responded to 83 attacks nationwide, including 18 car-ramming incidents and 10 shootings.

The break up involved 13 affiliate gangs leaving the Yamaguchi-gumi, which is headed by Shinobu Tsukasa. The renegade syndicates subsequently formed the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi with the Yamaken-gumi, led by Kunio Inoue, as its key affiliate gang.

A turf war then developed. On March 8, the NPA established a special unit to cope with the “state of confrontation” between the two powers. Since the split, police have arrested more than 900 members from both gangs.  

During a truce, the two syndicates engaged in peace talks Shizuoka Prefecture on May 14. However, a resolution was not reached. Later that month, the feud regained momentum.

On May 31, Tadashi Takagi, a 55-year-old executive in the Okayama-based Ikeda-gumi, an affiliate gang of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, was shot and killed in a parking lot of an apartment building in Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture. Police subsequently arrested Hideyuki Yamamoto, a 32-year-old member of the Kodo-kai, an affiliate gang of the Yamaguchi-gumi, on murder charges.

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