FUKUOKA (TR) – Fukuoka Prefectural Police on Thursday said that last year membership in organized crime groups in the prefecture fell to the lowest level since the Anti-Organized Crime law went into effect in 1992, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 9).
The number of gangsters in the prefecture totaled 1,560 in 2014, a drop of 170 from the year before. Over that same period, associate and official membership in the Kudo-kai, Fukuoka’s largest group, fell by 80 to 870. In 2012, the Kudo-kai had 1,010 members, according to the Sankei Shimbun (Jan. 8).
The number of arrests also dropped: police took 490 Kudo-kai members into custody (a decrease of 50 over 2013), 140 Namikawa Mutsumi-kai members (a drop of 40), 140 Taishu-kai members (a fall of 20), 160 Fukuhaka-kai members (20) and 330 Dojin-kai members (10).
Last October, officers arrested two top bosses, including Satoru Nomura (pictured above), for involvement in the murder of a fishery cooperative president in Kitakyushu in 1998 and the stabbing of a nurse in Fukuoka’s Hakata Ward two years ago.
Police also said that 30 Kudo-kai members were operating in the Kanto region, an increase of 10 over the year before.
“It is possible that organized crime members will be increasingly active in other areas to avoid local anti-gang regulations,” a representative of the police said. “We will firmly assess these developments.”