TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Thursday announced the arrest of five members of a delinquent group over the alleged assault of a male employee of a bar in Minato Ward earlier this year, reports the Asahi Shimbun (June 7).
According to police, the five suspects — including Shota Matsuda, 24, and Kazuumi Motoki, 37 — are members of the group Manfrotto, which typically operates out of Osaka and Tokushima prefectures.
In February, the suspects allegedly beat the face of the bar employee on a road in the Akasaka area. “What are you looking at?” one of the suspects reportedly said in instigating the incident. “Do you have something to say?”
Matsuda and two other suspects admit to the allegations. Meanwhile, Motoki and one other suspect deny the charges, police said.
According to police, Manfrotto falls under the hangure categorization. The term is an amalgamation of Japanese words that roughly mean a clam shell that does not close snugly. Such groups have emerged in Japan’s criminal underworld following the reduction in membership within conventional yakuza syndicates.
Police believe that the motivation for the crime in February was the collection of mikajimeryo, or protection money. In 2017, several members of the Sumiyoshi-kai were arrested for collecting mikajimeryo in Akasaka. It is believed that the incident was a result of Manfrotto moving in on the turf of the Sumiyoshi-kai.