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Tokyo: Second hostess club accused of paying off yakuza

TOKYO (TR) – Following the arrest last month of the manager of a hostess club in Ota Ward for allegedly paying protection money to a member of a criminal syndicate, police have cited the manager of another club for paying the same gangster, reports TV Asahi (Mar. 10).

Last October, Kyohei Watanabe, the 25-year-old manager of Bar Omori D.I.J, allegedly paid 70,000 yen to Kunitoshi Ishizawa, a 51-year-old upper-level member of the Inagawa-kai.

The payment is known as mikajimeryo, or “protection money.” Watanabe made such payments on the 25th of each month, police said.

Watanabe admits to the allegations. Meanwhile, Ishizawa denies the charges. “I don’t want to talk [about it] at all,” the suspect told police.

Bar Omori D.I.J is a type of hostess club known as a “girl’s bar,” which is legally registered as an eating and drinking establishment

Metropolitan ordinance

In the first case, police accused Koichi Setagawa, the 53-year-old manager of New Club Aura, of paying 100,000 yen to Ishizawa.

A metropolitan ordinance enacted last October prohibits the payment of protection money to gangsters by management of restaurants, bars and other shops in the capital.

The arrest of Setagawa was the first of a person connected to a business for paying protection money to a gang group.