Japan’s largest criminal gang, theYakuza, is facing an all-out war amongst its factions, with various splinter groups engaged in in-fighting that’s led to multiple deaths recently. Also known as Yamaguchi-gumi, the huge criminal enterprise has never before seen such violence in its 100 year history. In the past three days alone, 17 fights between gang members have been registered with police, reports the National Public Safety Commission.
Jake Adelstein, a journalist and author specializing in all things Yakuza says this about what’s going on: “It seems like the kid gloves are off. They are attacking each other and reaching epic levels of violence — throwing Molotov cocktails, and doing things that you don’t normally see in modern Japan.”
“I think that until there’s a civilian death, the police are going to sit back and watch them kill each other — because that’s how they view the thing, as long as the Yakuza are confining their violence to each other and not spilling over into the civilian population, it’s like someone’s doing their job for them,” he went on.
It’s thought that the trouble stems from a few months ago when some members of the Yakuza were expelled for perceived disloyalty to the boss,Kenichi Shinoda. The ex-communicated gangsters went on to form their own gang and tensions have been high ever since.
It is thought that the crime syndicate and its offshoots have links to a huge variety of different criminal activities such as: arms dealing, drug running, prostitution, illegal gambling and financial fraud.