The Tokyo Reporter

Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi member wanted in shooting death of rival in Kobe

Security camera footage taken just before the gunning down of a bodyguard of a gang boss in Kobe shows a suspicious person in the vicinity (TBS News)

HYOGO (TR) – One week after a shooting incident in Kobe that left a bodyguard of the Ninkyo Yamaguchi-gumi boss dead, Hyogo Prefectural Police are hunting for a member of the rival Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, reports NHK (Sept. 19).

At just past 10:00 a.m. on September 12, a vehicle containing Yuhiro Kusumoto, 44, was ambushed by a gunman on a road in Nagata Ward.

Kusumoto, who is a bodyguard for top boss Yoshinori Oda, was struck by at least one bullet in the head. He was later confirmed dead about hour later at a nearby hospital.

An examination of security camera footage showed a suspicion person near the convoy of vehicles at the time of the shooting. The alleged shooter fled the scene after the incident.

Police have since placed Tatsumi Hishikawa, a 41-year-old member of the Yamaken-gumi, the key subordinate gang of the Kobe Yamaguchi-Yumi, on a nationwide wanted list on suspicion of murder.

Beginning on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., police raided the offices of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, located in Awaji City, and Yamaken-gumi, located in Kobe’s Chuo Ward, in search of evidence in the case, according to Mainichi Broadcasting System (Sept. 20).

Gang feud

Police believe the incident is the result of a gang feud that dates back to 2015, when the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi formed after the split of the Yamaguchi-gumi.

In April, several gangs left the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi due to dissatisfaction with internal operations on the part of upper-level management. The dissenting gangs subsequently formed what is now known as the Ninkyo Yamaguchi-gumi under the leadership of Oda.

Oda as target

The incident last week took place after three vehicles carrying members of the Ninkyo Yamaguchi-gumi exited the residence of Oda. A fourth vehicle containing the alleged shooter then blocked the path of the convoy.

Police believe that Oda, who was inside one of the first three vehicles, was the real target of the shooting.

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