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Kochi rail execs resign for using name of Yamaguchi-gumi boss to threaten shareholder

Kiyoshi Takayama
Kiyoshi Takayama
TOKYO (TR) – Tosa Electric Railway on Monday announced the resignation of two top executives over revelations that the name of a gang boss was used to threaten a shareholder, reports the Japan Press Network (Apr. 15).

President Showa Takemoto, 72, and Torahachiro Nishioka, 77, resigned from the company, which is located in Kochi Prefecture, during a board meeting on Saturday.

During a conversation with a 63-year-old male shareholder on May 8 of last year, the president said that the company had the support of the second-highest member of the Yamaguchi-gumi, Kiyoshi Takayama, 65, and that of a former gangster. “We have the Kodo-kai at our back,” the president reportedly said. “If you cause any trouble, we will show (them) your business card and photo.”

Nishioka was also reportedly present during the exchange.

In March, the Kyoto District Court sentenced Takayama, who is the chairman of the Kodo-kai, a secondary organization of the Yamaguchi-gumi, to six years in prison for the extortion of a construction company employee.

According to the Sankei Shimbun (Mar. 25), the two executives became acquainted with the former gangster in May of 2007 in Kochi City. In January of 2008 and April of 2009, the group met again in Nagoya.

For the 2013 fiscal year, Tosa Electric Railway contributed funding to the prefecture’s anti-organized crime initiative.