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Tokyo police: Ex-talent agency exec claimed yakuza affiliation in extortion

Yoshiaki Utagawa
Yoshiaki Utagawa

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested the former head of a talent agency for allegedly attempting to extort an executive of another agency by claiming to have ties to organized crime, reports TBS News (Nov. 30).

In March of 2014, Yoshiaki Utagawa, a 33-year-old former president of a talent agency based in Shibuya Ward, allegedly said he was “connected to a criminal organization” while demanding eight million yen from the former rival executive as repayment of a loan of five million yen.

“I am connected to a criminal organization, the one that was involved in the murder incident at the club in Roppongi,” Utagawa allegedly said in referring to the popular entertainment area of Tokyo. “[If you don’t pay] I am not sure what [my associates] will do.”

Utagawa has told police that he “does not recall” the incident.

Update: According to Fuji News Network (Nov. 30), Utagawa is a former member of the Sumiyoshi-kai organized crime group.