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Yamaguchi-gumi succumbs to revised law, encourages ‘code of conduct’

Ranking chart showing members of the Yamaguchi-gumi
Ranking chart showing members of the Yamaguchi-gumi, with top boss Shinobu Tsukasa at top right

TOKYO (TR) – While recent reports about the Yamaguchi-gumi administering exams to its members regarding protocol may seem amusing, it would appear the activity is a part of a greater initiative towards limiting risk in its operations, reports evening tabloid Yukan Fuji (Sep. 11).

According to the article, the Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest criminal organization with a membership of 21,000, is now requesting that affiliate gangs not imprint their business cards (meishi) with the Yamaguchi-gumi crest and refrain from engaging in typical gang-like conduct.

The article says that such a move is rooted in revisions last year to the Anti-Organized Crime Law, which was enacted in 1992. The changes increased the liability of top bosses for the actions of subordinates, and the new order regarding meishi is a defense measure.

According to people familiar with the situation, the gang also issued an order to ensure that members establish a “code of conduct” more in line with conventional society. The dispatch specifically requested that members be attired in simple black suits for funerals and to never drink alone when in entertainment areas.

The changes to the law now require that bosses take responsibility should members of affiliated groups partake in physical violence, intimidation and extortion to harm a person or inflict damage.