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Japan's Battle Against Its Most Violent Yakuza Group Isn't Over Despite Its Leader Being Sentenced To Death

Japan's Battle Against Its Most Violent Yakuza Group Isn't Over Despite Its Leader Being Sentenced To Death

Its leader may have been sentenced to death but Japan's most violent Yakuza group is still going.

Japan has spent years battling to bring down the most violent Yakuza group in the country and still has a long way to go.

The country has for years been introducing stricter laws and targeting businesses with links to organised crime in order to crack down on the Yakuza, especially the more dangerous groups.

The Kudo-kai were the first group of Yakuza in Japan to be designated a 'particularly dangerous gangster organisation' back in 2012, and a strategy to go after the group's leaders was put in place.

Satoru Nomura, the head of the Kudo-kai, was last year sentenced to death after being found guilty of ordering four assaults, including one which had resulted in a fatal shooting.

While prosecutors lacked direct evidence to prove Nomura ordered the attacks, they successfully argued that as head of the crime syndicate he was ultimately responsible for their actions.

Among the victims of the assaults was a nurse who supposedly treated Nomura after the crime boss had allegedly received penis enlargement surgery in 2012 and been unhappy with the results.

Japanese people sporting Yakuza tattoos could eventually become a thing of the past.

The 75-year-old is currently appealing against his death sentence and it could be years before he finds out if he actually receives the death penalty.

While it's a big step in the battle against the most violent Yakuza group in Japan, there is still a long way to go to fully crack down on the organised crime group.

Japan has been making living a normal life as difficult as possible for Yakuza members in an attempt to encourage people to quit the crime syndicates.

Yakuza members can't open bank accounts, get credit cards, take out insurance or even agree a contract on a mobile phone.

The crackdown seems to be working if Yakuza memberships are any indication.

At the height of their influence during the 1960s there were more than 180,000 registered members of the Yakuza in Japan.

By the time of 2006 that figure had dropped to around, 87,000 and now they have fewer than 20,000 registered members.

Japanese police have been cracking down on the Kudo-kai, the most violent Yakuza group.

According to The Guardian, the Yakuza's days might be numbered thanks in part to Japan's crackdown on the criminal groups but also due to their failure to attract younger members.

It seems that in Japan, organised crime isn't a young man's game as a report from 2020 said that more than half of Yakuza members were aged 50 or over, while 10 percent were in their 70s.

Meanwhile, just 14 percent were in their 30s while fewer than five percent of Yakuza members were in their 20s, leaving the criminal organisations to increasingly rely on old men to do their work.

Longer sentences for Yakuza members may have something to do with it, as younger criminals who get locked up can no longer expect to be out in a few year's time with the respect of their bosses.

Japan's battle against the Yakuza isn't over, but all signs point towards them winning it.

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Featured Image Credit: ANN News/Alamy

Topics: World News, Crime