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Tokyo: Sumiyoshi-kai boss re-arrested over extortion in Akasaka

Yasunori Matsudo
Yasunori Matsudo of the Sumiyoshi-kai

TOKYO (TR) – As a apart of the investigation into the alleged extortion of businesses in the Akasaka entertainment area of Minato Ward, Tokyo Metropolitan Police revealed on Wednesday that the boss of a criminal syndicate has been re-arrested, reports Fuji News Network (Dec. 22).

Over a four-year period ending in October of last year, Yasunori Matsudo, a 53-year-old boss within the Sumiyoshi-kai, and 9 other suspects allegedly participated in the collection of 1.55 million yen in payments termed mikajimeryo — or “protection money” — from a hostess club and massage parlor.

The money was collected to allow the street touts of the businesses to operate in Akasaka. “It is not permissible to solicit in the streets without paying the yakuza,” one of the suspects reportedly threatened while demanding payment of 30,000 yen per month from each business.

Matsudo, who has been accused of extortion, denies the allegations. “I don’t think threats were made in collecting the money,” the suspect was quoted by police.

Matsudo is currently under prosecution over another extortion case. The other nine suspects had also already been arrested.

According to police, the Sumiyoshi-kai is believed to have used similar means to extort between 40 million and 50 million yen from up to 30 businesses in Akasaka since 2015.

The crackdown started in November. It continued last month with the arrest of a different Sumiyoshi-kai boss over the extortion of other businesses in the area.