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How to spot a yakuza front company

Shukan Taishu Venus Feb. 22
Shukan Taishu Venus Feb. 22
On October 5, the National Police Agency announced a revision to the Anti-Organized Crime Law to be submitted to the ordinary session of the Diet. The initiative follows anti-gang ordinances adopted by all prefectures and administrative divisions that same month.

Crucially to the general public, the latter legislation prohibits ordinary citizens from assisting the business activities of criminal organizations.

Media outlets, celebrities, and the sporting world have subsequently been monitoring their own activities.

Shukan Taishu Venus (Feb. 22) sets about determining what commoners can do to protect themselves from unknowingly associating with crime syndicates.

There are thousands of yakuza front companies operating in Japan, says the tabloid. “I used to work at such an organization,” confesses a freelance writer. “Many other employees did not know, however, that a gang group was behind it.”

To avoid working for such a firm, the writer suggests research. “You should at least check the company’s name on the net,” the source says. “While it is important to see what users on bulletin boards say, what’s crucial is to know the number of years it has been in business and its history.”

Companies that change their names and lines of businesses frequently are suspect, says the writer, adding: “Companies that use simple English words such as ‘consultant’ or ‘create’ following a name is certainly dubious as it is an attempt to establish a good image just from the sound of the name.”

The magazine then refers to a television ad campaign that featured a popular actress and a handsome corporate managing director. The director’s company boasted of conditions that appeared too good to be true, which, according to the writer, when placed next to the sharp appearance of the executive raised alarms regarding gang ties. “Gangsters rely on popularity,” the writer says. “Being handsome is as valuable as being good at fighting.”

Lack of vertical movement within a company is also a warning sign. In working for a family-owned business, the tabloid says, it is difficult for employees to be promoted to upper-management because such positions are already occupied by relatives. Yakuza front companies operate in a similar manner.

“These companies, to a degree, become bi-polar,” explains the writer. “On one side, there are employees who simply don’t know what’s going on. Basically, they are treated the same as deceived customers. The companies wind up just using them.”

The tabloid concludes that employees at firms with only handsome men above them might want to reconsider their options. (A.T.)

Source: “Boryokudan keiei ‘furonto kigyo’ shamei wo koro koro kaeru, shacho ga ikemen no kigoyo ha chui!” Shukan Taishu Venus (Feb. 22, page 173)

Note: Brief extracts from Japanese vernacular media in the public domain that appear here were translated and summarized under the principle of “fair use.” Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the translations. However, we are not responsible for the veracity of their contents. The activities of individuals described herein should not be construed as “typical” behavior of Japanese people nor reflect the intention to portray the country in a negative manner. Our sole aim is to provide examples of various types of reading matter enjoyed by Japanese.