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Kudo-kai yakuza group files suit over new gang labels

Hiroshi Kimura, a top boss in the Kudo-kai
Hiroshi Kimura, a top boss in the Kudo-kai
In December, the public safety commissions of five prefectures in Kyushu re-categorized three organized crime groups to assist in restricting their activities.

According to the Nikkei Shimbun (Jan. 19), the Kudo-kai criminal syndicate on Friday began litigation procedures at the district courts of two prefectures in an attempt to eliminate the designation.

On December 27, the commissions in Fukuoka and Yamaguchi prefectures deemed the Kudo-kai as a “dangerous” group. The Dojin-kai and Kyushu-Seido-kai were marked as “combative” in Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Saga, and Fukuoka prefectures. The designations are a part of a revision to the Anti-Organized Crime Law initiated in October.

The goal is to further control the yakuza groups as such labels will allow law enforcement to arrest gang members without the issuing of a cease and desist order if illegal demands are made towards ordinary citizens.

“Since the measure considerably restricts the group’s activities in terms of freedom of expression and association it is in violation of the Constitution,” said the Kudo-kai’s representative lawyer.

The Kudo-kai were labeled “dangerous” for a one-year period. The extortion of a citizen by a gang member will be met with an immediate arrest. The group has been suspected to have been involved in a number of attacks upon citizens in the Kita Kyushu area of Fukuoka over the past year.

Likewise, the “combative” designation, which extends for three months, is in force to prevent yakuza groups that from posing harm to citizens who have attempted to eradicate them.

Masahiro Takagi, the chief inspector at the Fukuoka police, said that the contents of the Kudo-kai’s complaint would be taken into consideration once his office receives the document. An inspector at the Yamaguchi prefectural police was unaware of the details of the matter and refused to offer comment.