The Tokyo Reporter

Osaka police: Yakuza extortion attempt led to 20-man brawl at Shinsaibashi bar

Ren Kaji (Mainichi Broadcasting System)

OSAKA (TR) – Osaka Prefectural Police have arrested four persons, including a member of an organized crime group, over an alleged extortion attempt of a bar in the Minami entertainment area of Chuo Ward that led to a massive brawl earlier this year, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Nov. 6).

Police have accused Masatak Seki, a 43-year-old member of the Kyokushin Rengo-kai, Ren Kaji, a member of a delinquent group, and two other suspects of demanding mikajimeryo — or protection money — from Bar Bro, located in Higashi-Shinsaibashi. “You are in Minami,” one of the suspects said. “A cash payment is required.”

According to the Minami Police Station, the suspects have declined to comment on the allegations.

After the alleged demand was made, about 20 persons intruded inside the bar in the early morning hours of August 7. The 23-year-old manager of the establishment then sought help from his father, 67-year-old Takeo Ishibahi.

Ishibashi then arrived at the scene wielding a 40-centimeter-long sword that he used to slash the side of one of the men. After the attack, the victim fled the bar and collapsed outside on a road whereupon a passerby alerted police. He was then transported to a hospital in a conscious state.

Thereafter, two men in the mob — the 21-year-old manager of a fuzoku commercial sex parlor and an Argentinian national, aged in his 30s — took the manager outside where they pulled his hair and kicked him in the side.

Delinquents and yakuza

The Kyokushin Rengo-kai is an affiliate gang of the Yamaguchi-gumi, which is Japan’s largest criminal syndicate. Police suspect that delinquent groups are working with criminal syndicates to extort restaurants and bars in the Minami area.

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