“On September 22, a senior member of the Sanken-gumi met with Kashira (Seiji, the young leader) of Takayama and the Awami family to formally inform them of their intention to join the group. He said, “If we don’t do anything, we will only continue to taper off, and the young people will not be able to eat. It was now inevitable that we would join forces with the main family,” said a senior member of the Sanken clan.
The Yamaguchi-gumi split that has been going on for a long time since 2003 is finally reaching its climax. Last summer, the Yamaken-gumi V, which was the main organization of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, left the group. More than half of the Sanken-gumi had become independent from Kobe and had been working as a “single-pronged” group. However, in September, about a year after becoming independent, it was decided that the Yamaken-gumi would join the Yamaguchi-gumi VI. With this decision, there is a strong view that the Yamaguchi-gumi VI, which has expanded its power, will bring the series of conflicts and splits to an end.
The Yamaken-gumi’s joining of the Yamaguchi VI gang, which has shaken the situation of gangsters, was triggered by a “coffee shop meeting” held in Takasago City, Hyogo Prefecture, on July 22 last year. It was at this meeting that the Yamaken-gumi decided to secede from the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi. This magazine went to the site on the day of the meeting and photographed the executives entering and leaving the store with tense expressions.
According to a source, prior to the meeting, a notice was issued to more than 40 executives of the Yamaken-gumi V. The content of the notice was, “If you are remaining members of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, you do not have to participate. The aforementioned Yamaken-gumi executive recalls what happened on that day.
“Before the July meeting, we had four meetings to discuss what we should do as the Sanken-gumi. In June, the previous month, we had talked about whether we should split the group or not. Then, on the day of the July meeting at the coffee shop, about 30 executives attended the meeting, but after about an hour, six of them left the meeting. Looking back now, I can say that the meeting was actually a “stepping stone” to confirm our intentions. So that day was effectively a rally for the new Yamaken group. The remaining members were almost unanimous in their decision to follow Nakata’s boss (Koji Nakata, leader of the Yamaken-gumi), who is still in detention.
On this day, the Yamaken-gumi parted company with the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, partly due to the wishes of the gang leader Nakata, who is currently in detention on suspicion of attempted murder. “The reason why we left Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi is quite simple,” the executive continued.
The reason why we left Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi is quite simple,” continues a senior official, “It was simply because the amount of money we had to pay to Inoue’s boss in Kobe was too high. The combination of various factors, such as the tightening of the Anti-Violence Law and the influence of Corona, made it difficult for the Yamaguchi-gumi to operate. Even in such a situation, he was able to pay 3 million yen to the Inoue clan leader in Kobe. However, he could no longer afford to pay that amount due to the decrease in his income, so he asked for half of it. However, Kobe’s reply was, “Shut up. Bring me the whole thing.
He had originally parted ways with the main family because of the high price of the top payment, but Inoue’s master was doing the same thing after all. It was a hard decision to leave Kobe, but Nakata made the choice to go independent in order to feed his members, deciding whether to take care of his children or his parents.
Thus, the Yamaken-gumi, which broke away from the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, joined the Yamaguchi-gumi main family about a year later. Since around July this year, there have been many rumors about the joining of the two groups, but there have also been calls to postpone it. It is said that one of the reasons was that it was difficult to communicate with the leader of the group, Nakata, since he was under detention. However, another member of the Sanken-gumi who attended the “coffee shop meeting” said, “In a sense, this rejoining was a predetermined course.
He said, “Considering the survival of the Yamaken-gumi and the livelihood of its young members, the most rational decision would have been to join Yamaguchi-gumi VI. From the time of independence, there were already several executives who were prepared to do so. They had already been in contact with the main family at that time.
However, there was a possibility that they would be left out in the cold, so they had to make a careful decision about that. Since the beginning of this year, we have been negotiating behind the scenes, exploring the intentions of the main family. In the summer, the executives actually had a meeting with each other, and in September, they officially joined forces.
The most important thing for Yamaken was to see how the Nakata clan leader would be treated. This was accelerated by the fact that the head family was going to prepare a post for him as an executive. Although there was a grudge that two members of the clan had been killed after the split, keeping the child alive was the top priority. Of course, I still don’t know if I can take this joining at face value, but I can’t turn my back on it.
As for the main family, they wanted to put an end to the series of splits and put an end to everything. For Yamaken, it was a matter of mutual interest to make a living. The groundwork for such a picture was already laid at the coffee shop meeting last year.
As for the future outlook, he continued.
“Inoue’s stance is to ‘fight to the end,’ but the Yamaguchi-gumi VI believes that the matter is now virtually settled. I wonder if they will go on the offensive at once, or if they will try to find a ‘compromise’ with Kobe. Either way, the yakuza world has been seriously hit by the Corona disaster, and they really don’t want to spend too much time on the split.
The investigating authorities and the prefectural police are said to be on high alert, considering the impact on the war. Even if the split issue is settled, the difficult situation surrounding the yakuza society will not change.