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Osaka: Cops nab yakuza over attempted extortion in Minami

Masahiko Onishi
Masahiko Onishi (Mainichi Broadcasting System)

OSAKA (TR) – Osaka Prefectural Police have arrested an organized crime member over the alleged attempted extortion of a restaurant in the Minami entertainment area last month, reports Mainichi Broadcasting System (Feb. 15).

On January 12, Masahiko Onishi, a 42-year-old member of the Takumi-gumi, an affiliated gang of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, demanded a payment termed mikajimeryo, or “protection money,” from the manager of the restaurant.

The following day, the manager consulted with police. Three other persons have been arrested in the case, according to police.

Mikajimeryo is a key money-making activity for criminal syndicates nationwide. Since the end of last year, police have been speaking with shop owners in Minami as a part of intensified supervision of the area.

Previous arrest

In 2011, police also arrested Onishi and Masato Takeshita, the former manager of a talent agency, for attempting to extort a company president two years before.

Previously, the former manager had borrowed 50 million yen from the president. In the incident, the suspects arranged for the former manager to be photographed walking with a female employee of a restaurant on a road in Osaka’s Kita Ward.

Afterward, Onishi threatened the president, saying that the woman was his girlfriend. He then demanded that the loan to Takeshita be waived and a payment of 20 million yen be made.