While many in the West may have a slightly romanticized view of the yakuza, there’s no denying that they are a driving force in the Japanese underworld. I’ll even go as far as to say that the police in Japan have every right to use any legal means at their disposal to fight back against them… at least, that’s what I want to say. Still, when I report on stories like this, it can be hard to mention the police in Japan with a straight face.
Over the last few years, the government and police have been cracking down on yakuza activity by limiting their ability to do many mundane things. This includes getting cell phones, attending baseball games, or even using their supermarket points. However, this instance might be the most extreme example of the law attempting to nail yakuza members for even the tiniest infractions.
On May 17th, 2023, a member of the Kyokudokai division of the Yamaguchi-Gumi yakuza family was arrested and taken into custody in Asahikawa City in Hokkaido Prefecture. Seeing as this person is in his 50s and still a member of the yakuza, you have to imagine that he had his fingers dipped into some pretty sweet pies. So what was his crime? Racketeering? Prostitution? Drugs? None of the above. In complete actuality, this man was arrested because, in two different instances, he didn’t pick up dog poop. No, seriously.
According to the report, this yakuza member was walking the dog of one of their fallen leaders around 7 a.m. on December 28th and January 9th. Going further into the record, it seems that this yakuza wasn’t paying attention because he failed to notice that the dog was pooping on someone else’s property on these two occasions.
The police say they are still investigating the matter, but the accused yakuza member denies the charges against him. He admits that the property in question is along the route he takes with the dog each morning but doesn’t recall the dog pooping at that time and place.
Good job to the Hokkaido police department for getting another hardened criminal off the streets of Japan. While this particular yakuza might not have put many points into his perception, we worldwide notice your police work and salute you.
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