Shooting and Killing of the President of Gyoza no Ousho: The “Fearful True Face” of a Terrific Hitman of the Kudo-kai
With more than 45 billion yen in interest-bearing debt.
In April 2000, when Takayuki Daito (72) became the fourth president of “Gyoza no Ohsho” (“Ohsho”), he was confronted with a massive debt.
The founder, Asao Kato (deceased), opened the first store in Shijo-Omiya, Kyoto, in December 1967. It was about 10 years later, around 1977, that a dark cloud began to gather over the business. Mr. Kato met Mr. A, a business group manager also from Fukuoka Prefecture, whose brother was known as the “don” of a certain Dowa organization and who himself was well known in the political and business world. In the process of growing “Ohsho” into a nationwide chain, Mr. Kato relied on Mr. A for trouble-shooting and building approval procedures.
When Mr. Kato passed away in June 1993, Mr. A attended the company funeral as a representative of his friends. Mr. Kato’s eldest son, who became the third head of the company after serving as a hired president, and his second son, who was a senior managing director, further deepened their relationship with Mr. A. Mr. A’s illegal transactions with the corporate group amounted to 26 billion yen, of which approximately 17 billion yen was recovered The real estate he had purchased at an unbelievable price was a real estate business.
Real estate purchased at an unbelievable price
According to the report of the third-party committee disclosed in March 2004, “Ohsho” purchased the following real estate from Mr. A’s corporate group one after another.
Land in Hawaii: approximately 1.82 billion yen
A building in Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City: approximately 1.237 billion yen
A building in Gion, Kyoto: approximately 530 million yen. ……etc.
All of these amounts are far from the fair market value. The real estate purchased by “Ohsho” was bought back by Mr. A’s corporate group for about one-third the price. The management of Osho deteriorated rapidly.
In April 2000, Mr. Daito, whose sister is the wife of the founder, Mr. Kato, became the fourth president of Osho in an effort to revive the business. Kato’s eldest and second sons resigned to take responsibility. Mr. Daito, who was determined to “get all of his guts out,” took it upon himself to negotiate with Mr. A. “However, it was difficult to establish a relationship with Mr. A,” he said.
However, it seems that he was unable to break off the relationship with Mr. A. Mr. Daito, who was increasingly at odds with the founding family, turned to Mr. A as a negotiator. Mr. Daito was aiming to list Osho on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, but he gave up the idea in November 2012, just before the application was submitted, because of the problems he had caused.
In September 2001, Daito presented a draft of a report on inappropriate transactions at an extraordinary meeting of the board of directors. The report was completed in November of the same year, but was kept secret due to various protests. It was one month later that Daito was shot and killed by an unknown assailant.
Mr. Daito had made it a daily routine to clean the area around the head office early in the morning before the employees arrived at the office, spraying water on the ground in his boots. It seems that this was the target of the attacker. The incident occurred early in the morning before 6:00 am. There were no witnesses or people who heard the gunshots, making the investigation difficult.
The suspect was arrested on October 28 of this year based on DNA found on a cigarette butt that had fallen onto the street near the scene. It had been eight years and ten months since the incident occurred.
The suspect arrested on suspicion of murder and violation of the Firearms Control Law is Yukio Tanaka, 56, a senior member of the Kudo-kai, a designated dangerous gang, who was in prison for another shooting incident. The Kudo-kai is based in Fukuoka Prefecture, the same prefecture where Mr. A was born. Tanaka’s “true face” is said to be unusual for a gangster.
He dropped out of a university in Tokyo and worked for a travel agency. He worked mainly in the Kansai region. Later, he was introduced to an organization affiliated with the Kudo-kai and became a member, which is an unusual background for a gang member. The suspect Tanaka belonged to the Ishida-gumi, a Kudo-kai affiliate, and held the core post of general manager.
The suspect Tanaka must have been quite good as a hitman. The weapon used was a .25 caliber automatic pistol, but it was palm-sized and had low killing power. You have to be quite skilled to use it. He was usually taciturn and seemed to be willing to do any kind of work.
As of October 30, Tanaka is said to have remained silent about the case, although he has responded to chats with interrogators. As for his connection with Mr. Daito and Mr. A, it is not known for certain.
Photo by： Yutaka Asai, Satoshi Taniguchi, Kyodo News, Jiji Press