TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Thursday initiated a patrol through an entertainment district in Taito Ward to promote the exclusion of organized crime from the area, reports TBS News (Sept. 30).
Officers walked through the streets of Ueno to warn shopkeepers against abetting criminal organizations, such as through the payment of mikajimeryo, or protection money. The patrol also covered the neighboring Yushima area of Bunkyo Ward.
“Without the presence of gangs, everyone, including women, children and foreign tourists, can enjoy this area safely and with confidence,” said Hirofumi Naito, the head of the metropolitan police’s organized crime division. “Let’s continue to make this an attractive city.”
Of specific concern to law enforcement was last year’s split of the Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest gang, and the formation of a rival criminal syndicate, the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi. Since the dissolution, police have been actively gathering intelligence about any potential conflicts between the two gangs.