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Fukuoka pachinko parlors band together against yakuza

A pachinko parlor in Kitakyushu
A pachinko parlor in Kitakyushu (Zonegroup)

FUKUOKA (TR) – Following revelations last month that a pachinko parlor manager had been paying off gangsters, a gaming cooperative is offering help, reports the Mainichi Shimbun (Oct. 30).

On Friday, the Fukuoka Prefecture Games Industry Cooperative held a meeting attended by 450 parlor managers and employees at a hotel in Hakata Ward to provide guidance about how to avoid paying organized crime.

“Together, like a rugby scrum, we are united in our desire to remove organized crime from the industry,” said the 64-year-old board chairman of the cooperative.

In September, a manager of a pair of pachinko parlors in Kitakyushu City consulted with police after paying a total of 40 million yen in protection money — termed mikajimeryo — to two bosses in the Kitakyushu-based Kudo-kai over a 15-year period.

The manager opened his first shop in 2000. He has paid the Kudo-kai twice annually, once during the obon holiday period and again at the end of the year. He opened his second shop five years later. For this business, payments to the gang amounted to 100,000 yen each month.

In 2010, Fukuoka Prefecture enacted legislation that bans such payments.

The message conveyed at the meeting was that parlors should refuse demands from gangsters. As well, should problems develop, they should contact police immediately.