The Cry Baby is on sabbatical ....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Japanese mafia supply earthquake aid in time-honoured tradition

Inagawa-kaiImage via Wikipedia
Inagawa-kai crest
Hours after the 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit Japan, twenty-five trucks filled with diapers, instant noodles, flashlights, drinks, and other goods arrived in the Tohoku region and were distributed to people in need. The people behind this charity were the Inagawa-kai, one of the largest organized crime groups in the country.

The Japanese mafia, known in the country as the "yakuza", have a long history of supplying aid in times of need. After the Kobe earthquake in 1995, the Yamaguchi-gumi crime organization was one of the first groups supplying aid to local people affected by the quake. They seek no credit for their humanitarian actions, and there is an unspoken agreement with police that they will be unmolested during these activities.

There are about 80,000 members in the various yakuza organizations in Japan. They derive their income chiefly protection payoffs, security services, financial fraud, stock manipulations, gambling, blackmail, prostitution, and loan sharking.

Read more on this fascinating crime culture on the Daily Beast, in this great article by Jake Adelstein.


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