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NPA: Yakuza arrests slump by nearly 10% in 2017

Shinobu Tsukasa, head of the Yamaguchi-gumi
Shinobu Tsukasa (center), head of the Yamaguchi-gumi (Fuji News Network)

TOKYO (TR) – The National Police Agency revealed on Thursday that the number of arrests of members of criminal syndicates dropped by nearly 10 percent over the first half of the year compared to 2016, reports Jiji Press (Oct. 6).

Between January and June, police arrested 8,684 members of criminal syndicates, a drop of 825 (or 8.7 percent) over the same period in 2016.

The number of arrests of members of the Kobe-based Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest syndicate, totaled 2,697. Meanwhile, the figure stood at 1,426 for its chief rival, the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi. Collectively, 521 fewer arrests of members of the two gangs were made over the period.

“State of confrontation”

In 2015, the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi formed following the dissolution of the Yamaguchi-gumi. Between March 7, 2016, when law enforcement declared the two gangs to be in a “state of confrontation,” and this month, police recorded 48 incidents involving the two gangs. Of those incidents, only six took place during the first six months of this year.

However, tensions remain high. Earlier this year, the Ninkyo Yamaguchi-gumi formed after the splintering the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi. On September 12, a 44-year-old member of the Ninkyo Yamaguchi-gumi was shot in the head by a gunman in Kobe. He was later confirmed dead about hour later at a nearby hospital.

“The situation is unpredictable,” a representative of the NPA was quoted.