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Breakaway faction of Yamaguchi-gumi to form new gang

Shinobu Tsukasa
Shinobu Tsukasa

KOBE (TR) – Investigative sources revealed on Thursday that a breakaway faction from Japan’s largest organized crime group will form its own group, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Aug. 27).

After a split brought about by a power struggle within the Yamaguchi-gumi, a dissenting faction of 13 gangs, lead by the Yamaken-gumi, will likely form and be known as the “Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi.”

Meanwhile, the faction loyal to current boss Shinobu Tsukasa, 73, will be spearheaded by the Nagoya-based Kodo-kai, a gang co-founded by Tsukasa in 1984.

In 1915, former fisherman Harukichi Yamaguchi founded the Yamaguchi-gumi, which including affiliate gangs has a current membership of 23,400, according to the National Police Agency. The Kobe-based gang operates in 44 of Japan’s 47 administrative districts.

On Thursday morning, a meeting held at the gang’s headquarters in Nada Ward was not attended by upper-level executives from the dissenting gangs, including the Yamaken-gumi, which is also based in Kobe.

Another meeting will be held on September 1 in which it is expected that relations with the dissenting gangs will be severed.

In 2005, Tsukasa became the Yamaguchi-gumi’s sixth Godfather. A police source tells the Sankei Shimbun (Aug. 27) that the dissenting gangs, largely based in the Kansai area, had become frustrated with the managerial emphasis Tsukasa has placed on the Kodo-kai.