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Yamaguchi-gumi finalizes dissolution, 13 affiliates out

Shinobu Tsukasa of the Yamaguchi-gumi
Shinobu Tsukasa of the Yamaguchi-gumi

KOBE (TR) – After a week of speculation, law enforcement said on Tuesday that Japan’s largest crime syndicate has chosen to expel 13 affiliate groups, a move that essentially results in the dissolution of the gang, reports the Kobe Shimbun (Sep. 1).

Following a meeting held among upper-level members of the Yamaguchi-gumi, based in Kobe’s Nada Ward, police sources were able to confirm that relations with eight gangs had been cut, though with the possibility of reinstatement, while ties with another five groups, including the Yamaken-gumi and Takumi-gumi, had been severed completely. The 13 dissenting gangs are comprised of approximately 3,000 members.

As reported last week, the gang’s 72 affiliate groups had become divided over the management policies of current boss, 73-year-old Shinobu Tsukasa.

It is believed that the remainder of the Yamaguchi-gumi will be spearheaded by the Nagoya-based Kodo-kai, a gang co-founded by Tsukasa in 1984. The Yamaken-gumi and Takumi-gumi will then head a rival gang, according to the Asahi Shimbun (Sep. 1).

In 1915, former fisherman Harukichi Yamaguchi founded the Yamaguchi-gumi. Prior to the dissolution, the gang operated in 44 of Japan’s 47 administrative districts. According to data from the National Police Agency, the gang, including affiliate organizations, had a membership of 23,400 through the end of last year.

Signs of trouble for the Yamaguchi-gumi emerged last Thursday when the 13 heads of the expelled gangs failed to attend a meeting held at the gang’s headquarters.