Latest News

Friday, 19th November 2010
In General Japan News,

Crime boss arrested in Japan

A key figure in Japan's biggest yakuza organisation has been arrested.

According to Japanese media reports, Kiyoshi Takayama is second-in-charge of the syndicate and has been detained on suspicion of extortion.

It is thought that around 140 police officers were involved in the arrest operation that took place in the early hours close to the city of Kobe.

Mr Takayama could now face charges of extorting 40 million yen (£302,000) from a construction businessman during 2005 to 2006.

Although not illegal, the Japanese yakuza groups have attracted attention from law enforcement in recent years because of claims that their activities have become more violent and open.

Mr Takayama is also thought to be the head of Kodo-kai, which is a key affiliate of Yamaguchi-gumi and has over 4,000 members.

Over the past year, many Japanese banks have used new legislation to close accounts of high-ranking yakuza bosses. Earlier this month, the Mainichi Daily News reported that one bank closed the account held of a high member of a leading yakuza association which contained around 400 million yen (£3.02 million).

Written by Mark Smith