Tokyo Police Battling the Yakuza Protection Racket

The owners of three restaurants and sex clubs in Tokyo found themselves in legal trouble after giving protection money, locally known as mikajimeryo, to a yakuza group that operates in the capital’s bustling Kanda business sector.

According to reports, police forwarded the case to prosecutors on the grounds that the mikajimeryo protection money payments violated a law intended to end syndicates. The restaurant and sex club owners were effectively financing organized crime.

It is alleged that the three managers paid a senior member of a group connected to the Sumiyoshi-kai yakuza syndicate a total of 720,000 yen ($5,000) in mikajimeryo between October 2019 and January of this year, according to police officers at the Kanda Police Station.

The senior yakuza member who collected the money has also been charged for violating the law by demanding protection money from the business owners.

In addition to the three businesses, it is known that a number of other shops in Kanda paid mikajimeryo. Ongoing investigations revealed that over the course of almost ten years, the gang forced more than ten businesses, including restaurants and hostess bars, to pay protection money.

In fact, in March 2022 the very same senior yakuza member and three of his foot soldiers had been arrested in connection with a different case of extortion from an owner of a tavern that took place over a five-year period.

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