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NPA: Number of yakuza members falls below 60,000 in 2013

An anti-yakuza campaign poster in Fukuoka
An anti-yakuza campaign poster in Fukuoka
TOKYO (TR) – The National Police Agency (NPA) announced on Wednesday that the total number of organized crime members fell below 60,000 in the past year, reports the Mainichi Shimbun (Mar. 6).

According to figures released by the police, Japan had 58,600 registered gangsters (25,600 members and 33,000 associate members) in 2013, a decline of 4,600 from the year before.

The number of gangsters arrested in 2013 was 22,861, a decline of 1,278 compared to 2012.

In 1992, the year that the Anti-Organized Crime Law came into effect, the total number of gang members was over 90,000. Between 2003 and 2004, the number increased by 1,200 to 87,000. In each of the nine subsequent years, however, the figure has steadily dropped.

The NPA credits the ongoing legislative push to eradicate criminal organizations as the reason for the fall in membership.

“The decline is due to a drop in money-making activities,” said a spokesperson for the NPA. “Nationwide regulations that prohibit things like payoffs have come into force and (their effects) are progressing.”