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Gyoza chain to launch yakuza probe following police report

Takayuki Ohigashi was shot dead in Kyoto on December 19. 2013
Takayuki Ohigashi was shot dead in Kyoto on December 19. 2013

KYOTO (TR) – Following revelations by Kyoto Prefectural Police that an organized crime group is believed to have played a role in the murder of the head of a dumpling chain, the company will launch an internal probe that seeks to uncover possible gang ties, reports the Mainichi Shimbun (Dec. 29).

“I have asked for a check of non-visible aspects of our management structure,” said Naoto Watanabe, the current chairman of Ohsho Food Service, which operates Gyoza no Ohsho (Gyoza King), at a press conference in Osaka. “I want to dispel anxiety to employees and our business partners.”

Earlier this month, Kyoto police announced that the results of a DNA analysis of a cigarette butt left behind at the scene of the shooting of Takayuki Ohigashi, the then president of the company, revealed a match with a gang member in the Kyushu area.

On the morning of December 19, 2013, Ohigashi was shot by an unknown gunman near a parking lot for the company’s headquarters in Yamashina Ward as he commuted to work.

Ohigashi, 72, received four wounds to the right part of his chest and abdomen. He was confirmed dead by emergency personnel at a nearby hospital.

In spite of dedicating substantial manpower to the investigation, Kyoto police had managed to develop very few leads. That changed with the latest development.

Police are now seeking to make a direct connection between the gang member and the crime.

The probe, which is to be launched in January, will consist of a three-person team of experts versed in organized crime. The investigation will target members of management, including Watanabe. The results of the investigation are expected to be posted on the company’s Web site in March.

Gyoza no Ohsho, founded in 1967, is a nationwide chain with a number of stores overseas that specializes in a variety of grilled dumplings, noodles and other dishes.