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Yamaguchi-gumi number-two boss released from prison

TOKYO (TR) – Kiyoshi Takayama, the number-two boss of the Yamaguchi-gumi criminal syndicate, was released from prison in Tokyo on Friday after serving a term of 6 years, local media reported.

At around 7:00 a.m., cameras captured Takayama, 72, entering JR Shinagawa Station. As he moved through the station, the boss, who walked with a cane, was escorted by about a dozen men in dark suits.

Takayama boarded a Shinkansen train for Nagoya, the stronghold of the Kodo-kai, a second-tier gang of the Yamaguchi-gumi for which he serves as chairman.

Kiyoshi Takayama of the Yamaguchi-gumi is shown at JR Shinagawa Station on Friday morning (Twitter)

In February, 2014, the Osaka High Court upheld a previous ruling from the year before in which Takayama was found guilty of extortion. The boss began serving the term at Fuchu Prison in Fuchu City, Tokyo that June.

In the case, Takayama extorted 40 million yen from an employee of a construction company during meetings at a hotel in Kyoto.

Not your grandfather’s Yamaguchi-gumi

The Yamaguchi-gumi is a different gang from the one that Takayama knew when he entered prison. In 2015, the gang splintered, with some upper-level members forming the rival Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi.

In April of 2017, the Ninkyo Yamaguchi-gumi formed after key affiliate gangs broke off ties with the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi.