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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 September 28 - October 4  > Gangsters must be rid of by social consensus
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2011 September 28 - October 4 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Gangsters must be rid of by social consensus

October 3, 2011
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

As an ordinance banning municipal contracts with crime syndicates was put into effect in Tokyo and Okinawa on October 1, all the 47 prefectures nationwide now have similar anti-gang legislation. The ordinance excludes gangsters from any contracts made by municipalities and prohibits companies to offer benefits to them.

Gangster groups, often called “yakuza”, have a variety of sources for their funding in the drug trade, gambling, extortion, illegal moneylending and billing fraud. With the threat or use of violence they coerce citizens, companies and administrative authorities, and they thus obtain illegal benefits and do a lot of harm to the society.

They appear anywhere and anytime money is to be made through shady dealings. They took advantage even of reconstruction work from the 3.11 disaster. In an area hit by the Great East Japan Disaster, an ex-member of the yakuza group Yamaguchi-gumi cheated urgent loans provided for victims (Miyagi Pref.). A gang leader related to another gang group, Sumiyoshi-kai, illegally dispatched workers to construct temporary housing units. Reportedly, gangster groups are involved in staffing laborers who engage in the dangerous tasks at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. TEPCO declared an intent to break its relations with gangsters in July.

The number of members and associate members of gangster groups totals about 80,000, with no signs of their strength declining.

Gangster organizations strengthened their connections with large corporations and politicians through loan shark businesses during the bubble economy in the 1980s. Ties between gangsters and many politicians came into relief at that time. In the present government as well, Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko, Administrative Reform Minister Renho, and Democratic Party of Japan Policy Research Commission Chair Maehara Seiji received donations from a person who was arrested together with a Yamaguchi-gumi member over drug deals. The problem does not end with Prime Minister Noda’s apology for accepting the money and his returning of the money due to a supposed “moral point of view.”

The government must steadfastly proceed with excluding and weakening gangster organizations and getting rid of them entirely.
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