The video of the “ramen store manager shot dead” that triggered the “new phase of the “Specific War Designation” between the Yamaguchigumi VI and the Kizuna-kai. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The video of the “ramen store manager shot dead” that triggered the “new phase of the “Specific War Designation” between the Yamaguchigumi VI and the Kizuna-kai.

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Security camera footage of the shooting of the leader of the Yamaguchigumi VI tertiary organization, which is said to have triggered the designation of this specific war. The person depicted in the video is believed to be Kanazawa, who committed the crime.

In recent years, there has been a string of murders and other incidents involving the use of handguns between the Yamaguchigumi VI, the largest designated crime syndicate in Japan, and the Kizuna-kai, a designated crime syndicate.

In light of the recent situation, the authorities have made a major decision. The Public Safety Commissions of Osaka, Hyogo, Aichi, and other prefectures initiated strict regulations on June 21, designating both sides as “designated gangs for specific conflicts” under the Anti-Boryokudan Law in order to prevent the escalation of conflicts. This will have a significant impact on the future, as gang members will be immediately arrested without a cease-and-desist order if they gather with five or more other people in a designated security zone.

Designated gangs for specific conflicts are organizations designated by the Prefectural Public Safety Commission under the Violence Prevention Law when there is a risk of serious harm to the general public due to a conflict between two designated gangs. Once designated as a designated gang, the Public Safety Commission will establish a “warning area” and the following activities are prohibited within the area.

Gathering of five or more members of the same gang

Establishing or entering a gang office

Following members of rival gangs

Loitering in the vicinity of opposing gang offices or the residences of the gang members.

If any of the above behaviors are confirmed, the behavior will be restricted as arrests will be made immediately without a cease and desist order or other administrative procedures. This time, six cities including Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya, and Mito were set as watch zones, including areas where both gangs have their bases and where incidents have occurred in the past.

A senior member of a designated organized crime syndicate commented on the situation as follows: “Because of the strict restrictions, people are not allowed to go out.

Because of the strict restrictions, you have to be careful when you go out. In the restricted area, no more than five people should be in a group. For example, regular meetings are held outside the restricted area. If five or more people try to board a bullet train in Osaka or Nagoya, they may be arrested on the platform. If more than one person is traveling in a car, it will be more than five people. The cars must be separated from each other.

The Yamaguchigumi VI split in August 2003, and the breakaway group formed the Kobe Yamaguchigumi. Both sides continue to be in a state of rivalry and warfare. Kizuna-kai (then known as Ninkyodan Yamaguchigumi) was formed in April 2005 as an independent group from Kobe Yamaguchigumi. Ikeda-gumi, another powerful organization affiliated with Kobe Yamaguchigumi, also became independent in July 2008.

Yamaguchigumi VI has already been designated as a specified anti-fighting group because of its rivalry with the Kobe Yamaguchigumi and Ikeda-gumi. With this designation, the Kizuna-kai will be added to this group, making it a “triple designation for Yamaguchigumi VI. The situation has become more complicated as this summer marks the 10th year since the first split and rivalry began.

The ties between Yamaguchigumi VI and the Kizuna-kai are deep. In September 2008, Shigeki Kanazawa, the number two young leader of Kizuna-kai, shot and seriously wounded a leader of an affiliated organization in Nagano Prefecture who was about to transfer to Yamaguchigumi VI. Kanazawa had been on the run since then, but in February of this year he was found in Sendai City, where he was hiding, and arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

This was not the only incident Kanazawa had caused. In January 2010, while on the run, he shot and killed an executive at the office of a Yamaguchigumi VI affiliate based in Mito City, and in April 2011, it was later discovered that he had also shot and killed the head of a ramen restaurant in Kobe City that was also run by the Kodokai VI Yamaguchigumi. Kanazawa was arrested in turn in each of these cases.

A senior police official said, “You never know when there will be a return (retaliation) from the VI (Yamaguchigumi) to the Kizumikai. If there is a shooting incident in the streets where ordinary citizens are passing by, there is a risk of collateral damage. There is no doubt that the VI and Kizumikai are in a state of rivalry and warfare,” emphasizes the significance of this designation as a designated specific warring gang.

Since the Yamaguchigumi VI split in August ’15, more than 100 incidents have occurred with the Kobe Yamaguchigumi, including murders using handguns, shooting at rival offices, and vehicle raids, resulting in more than a dozen deaths. Recently, however, the number of incidents that appear to have been caused by rivalry between these two organizations has been on the decline. On the other hand, there had been a series of incidents caused by Kanazawa of the Kizumikai against the Yamaguchigumi VI.

According to the latest data compiled by the National Police Agency as of the end of 2011, the Yamaguchigumi VI has approximately 3,500 members, while the Kobe Yamaguchigumi has approximately 140 members, and the Ikeda-gumi and Kizuna-kai both have 60 members, a large gap. The aforementioned senior police official said, “Kobe (Yamaguchigumi), Ikeda-gumi, and Kizuna-kai will not be able to overturn the power gap between them and the VI (Yamaguchigumi). However, since incidents continue to occur, it is recognized that they are in a state of rivalry and warfare. It is necessary to strictly regulate the situation,” he cautioned. (Some titles are omitted.)

The security camera footage begins when Kanazawa (back) appears.
His hands appear white, as if he is wearing gloves. He is wearing a hat, perhaps for disguise.
Without slowing down at all, he walks straight into the store.
At the moment he enters the store, he extends his right hand to his chest.
Then, he stayed for less than 40 seconds and immediately came out of the store. He is slightly aware of his surroundings. The short time of the crime shows how deft he was.
He left the store as it was.
A few hours after the incident, an ambulance arrived at the scene. The area begins to become noisy.
A male Yamaguchigumi-affiliated executive (center) was carried out by paramedics. He was immediately placed on a stretcher.
A member of the ambulance team performs cardiac massage. However, the man is unresponsive.
The stretcher then stood up and went to the ambulance. Cardiac massage was continued.
He was transported to the emergency room as it was. The Yamaguchigumi-affiliated executive who was shot in the head was later confirmed dead.
  • Interview and text Masahiro Ojima

    Nonfiction writer. After working for the Sankei Shimbun in charge of the National Police Agency Press Club, the Metropolitan Police Department Cap, the Kanagawa Prefectural Police Cap, the Judicial Press Club, and the National Tax Agency Press Club, he went freelance. His recent book is "How We Live: Money, Women, and Quitting Time of the Modern Yakuza" (Kodansha + Alpha Shinsho).

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