Why didn’t the police crack down on the yakuza before?

“Japan …has limited wire-tapping. There is no plea-bargaining allowed. There is no witness protection or witness relocation program. There is no incentive for a low-ranking yakuza to rat out the people above him and a hundred reasons for him to keep his mouth shut. For these reasons, most investigations often peter out before really getting off the ground….

It’s not a crime to be a member of a yakuza, although being a proven member has disadvantages in normal daily life.”

From the same interview as the last post on the yakuza. I must say that I’d heard much dodgier theories than that, including that some of the money from pachinko goes straight into police pockets


Why are the police cracking down on the yakuza?

“Because …the ruling faction of the Yamaguchi-gumi, has broken the unwritten rules. They have harassed police officers, photographed their family members—they have challenged the police. They don’t take that well. And by parading their presence at the Nagoya sumo tournament last year, they basically spat in the face of the police as well. As if to say, “we even have claim to Japan’s national sport. We’re VIPS wherever we go. You can’t touch us.” It also doesn’t help that the acting head of the Kodokai, Takayama, is rumored to be of North Korean ancestry.”

From Q and A with Jake Adelstein, Author of The Last Yakuza on the World Policy Institute website.

Hattip to Japan Subculture Research Centre, also source of my last post on things yakuzary.

Why do the police not stop guys from hostess bars hassling women?

Apparently, it’s legal if they do it right outside the club.

Info from a fascinating post on an Eikaiwa class with a yakuza boss, on the very interesting-looking Japan Subculture Research Centre

Why are yakuza so happy to mark themselves as criminals with tattoos?

 “In Edo times, criminals were branded across the cheek or forehead to mark them for life. Once the yakuza came into power, they deliberately turned the punishment into a badge of pride” Read the rest of this entry »

Why is the biggest drug in Japan amphetamines?

In WWII it was produced for soldiers, then went underground in 1945 with a supply of drugsand addicts nicely ensured. I also thought it might have something to do with being able to be made out of chemicals domestically without needing to smuggle opium etc into the country, but apparently most amphetamines are imported from the Phillipines and Korea.