It was a chilly December 5 in Roppongi (Minato Ward), Tokyo. Shortly after midday, four black luxury cars pulled up in front of the headquarters of the designated crime syndicate Inagawa-kai. Out of one of the cars emerged Tetsuji Kobayashi, chairman of the Dounin-kai.
The purpose of my visit was to give my greetings at the end of the year,” he said. There was no dinner, and he stayed for about 15 minutes,” said an Inagawa-kai official.
A short time later, Chairman Kobayashi and Inagawa-kai Chairman Kazuya Uchibori emerged from the general headquarters, chatting and laughing. After exchanging greetings, Chairman Kobayashi got into his car and drove away.
The Dojinkai is now one of the most closely watched organizations by the police. A reporter for a national newspaper said.
In August this year, the Fukuoka Prefectural Police arrested Kobayashi and three others on suspicion of fraud for staying at a hotel in Fukuoka Prefecture under false identities. It was a so-called “summit operation” targeting Chairman Kobayashi. Although the case was eventually dropped, on December 6, a joint task force of the Kumamoto Prefectural Police and others raided the offices of the Dojinkai in Kurume City, Fukuoka Prefecture, as part of an investigation into a special fraud case.
Why is Dojinkai being so closely watched by the investigative authorities? And what was the reason for the surprise visit to the headquarters of Inagawa-kai in the midst of the investigation?
Nonfiction writer Masahiro Ojima, author of “The True Story of the Yamaguchigumi Split” and other books, speaks up.
It is said that Chairman Kobayashi was working behind the scenes to mediate the rivalry between the Yamaguchigumi VI and the Kobe Yamaguchigumi. As such a ‘coordinator’ of the gang industry, the police are marking Chairman Kobayashi. Against this backdrop, he proudly went to the Inagawa-kai headquarters to pay his respects at the end of the year. I believe that his intention was to show off his presence to the gang industry and the police. I believe that next year, Chairman Kobayashi’s actions will be the focus of even more attention.”
The Yamaguchigumi split war has intensified with the attack on the head of the Ikeda clan in late October. The day of “blood rain” is not far off.
From the December 23, 2022 issue of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Tetsuzo Takehiro