Japan police expect bloody violence as biggest yakuza syndicate set to split

RT, August 28

War is imminent in the Japanese gang world, police say, as Yamaguchi-gumi – the largest yakuza conglomerate – is facing a split. Authorities are awaiting an outbreak of bloody violence, as the syndicate boasts some 43 percent of all Japan’s gang members.

To blame are differences in loyalties to the gang’s 73-year-old boss, Shinobu Tsukasa, who became the country’s most powerful crime lord in 2005, the Japan Times reports.

Reports indicate that he angered some of the gangs in the syndicate by giving preferential treatment to certain branches, as well as harboring ambitions of expanding into new territory, straying outside of the syndicate’s home turf. Tsukasa, who also goes by the name Kenichi Shinoda, is the syndicate’s sixth-generation don.

Twelve of the more than 30 groups now threaten to leave and form their own syndicate, according to the Japan Times’ police sources. This is putting police on very high alert, as the gang – now 100 years old – is quite a large organization. Numbering 10,300 members at the end of 2014, it also comprises 23,400 ‘quasi’-members. The gang’s influence is felt everywhere.

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