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Hyogo police: Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi to dissolve

The Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, headed by Kunio Inoue (above), is expected to splinter into two gangs
The Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, headed by Kunio Inoue (above), is expected to splinter into two gangs (Mainichi Broadcasting Service)

HYOGO (TR) – Not quite two years after its formation, the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group is expected to dissolve with departing members forming a new gang, a move that has police on high alert, reports NHK (Apr. 30).

According to investigative sources with the Hyogo Prefectural Police and affiliated persons, dissenting upper-level members of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi cited dissatisfaction with internal operations, particularly regarding promotions, in confirming the split at a meeting held in Amagasaki City on Sunday.

The departing members will form a gang called the Ninkyo Dantai Yamaguchi-gumi, a direct reference to the so-called “chivalrous” code of ethics organized crime members in Japan adhered to decades ago.

In September of 2015, more than a dozen affiliate gangs of the Yamaguchi-gumi left to form a rival syndicate, the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, headed by Kunio Inoue, who also serves as the head of the Yamaken-gumi. Since then, law enforcement has been taking measures to alleviate violence between the two gangs.

According to NHK, police are once again gathering information about the matter in an effort to stem any potential violence.

As of the end of 2016, the Kobe-based Yamaguchi-gumi had around 11,800 members, making it the largest in Japan. Meanwhile, membership in the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi totaled around 5,500, ranking third, trailing behind the Tokyo-based Sumiyoshi-kai.

It is not known how many affiliate gangs of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi will join the Ninkyo Dantai Yamaguchi-gumi.