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Yamaguchi-gumi top boss sued in Nagoya court for extortion

Shinobu Tsukasa
Shinobu Tsukasa
NAGOYA (TR) – A male restaurant manager in Toyohashi City on Thursday filed a claim in Nagoya District Court against the head of the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group for alleged extortion, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Jan. 8).

The manager is seeking 32.2 million yen in repayment and compensation from top boss Shinobu Tsukasa, 72, who is also known as Kenichi Shinoda, and two other defendants from an affiliate gang for being forced to pay approximately 24 million yen over a five-year period beginning in January of 2008.

“The mental burden that has been inflicted on this man is great,” said Ippei Watanabe, the head lawyer of the defense. “The responsibility for compensation lies with the top of the (Yamaguchi-gumi) organization.”

The funds paid were deemed to be for the protection of the business — a practice termed mikajimeryo — and exceeded one million yen per month.

An organized crime group will typically fund its operation through the collection of such money, which is then funneled upward within the gang to elite members, a process known as jonokin.

In this case, the protection money was paid to members of the Kodo-kai, which is a subsidiary of the Yamaguchi-gumi.

Revisions made to the Anti-Organized Crime Law in 2008 allow civilians to seek damages from gang members for harmful incidents in civil court.

In July of 2013, a female restaurant manager filed a similar claim seeking 17.35 million yen against Tsukasa in Nagoya District Court for alleged extortion that took place over the course of a decade. The case is still in litigation.