Road to Tokyo 2020: Police Stepping Up Exclusion of Crime Groups from Streets
Tokyo, July 2 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department is stepping up efforts to exclude organized crime syndicates from downtown areas of the Japanese capital, ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
The moves come after the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly voted to implement a revised crime syndicate exclusion ordinance at the start of October, aiming to drastically shorten the process for imposing penalties on both businesses and gangsters involved in protection rackets in 29 designated entertainment districts including Kabukicho and Roppongi.
Under the current process with the existing ordinance, the penalties of up to one year of imprisonment or fines of up to 500,000 yen, put in place only after warnings, public announcements and administrative orders, in that order, have never been imposed on anyone on either side.
"For business owners who have paid protection money, considering it a necessary cost, due to fears or old habits, the ordinance provision for immediate penalties is expected to give them an excuse for refusing payments and thus help to protect them," said Tatsunori Yoda, a lawyer familiar with civil cases involving organized crime groups.
The revised ordinance, as well as the law against organized crime groups, will still not be applicable to "han-gure," or half-gang, groups. There are an increasing number of cases of such groups extorting protection money.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]