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crime

Yakuza air complaints about COVID-19’s effect on money gains and operations

26 Comments
By Ingrid Tsai, SoraNews24

From shuttering factory doors to endangering cultural traditions, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been widespread throughout Japan, and naturally criminal yakuza groups have also been impacted operations-wise.

While the infamous crime syndicates are most well-known for making money through illegal means, such as gambling and the black market, one of their legal revenue sources that has been greatly impacted by COVID-19 is their food stalls.

For some context, food stalls in Japan operate differently compared to other regions of Asia. For example, in countries such as Taiwan, India, and Malaysia, food stalls are mainstays of certain streets and market areas that people regularly eat from.

In Japan on the other hand, food stalls are typically temporary vendors, popping up near shrines and temples during special seasonal events such as hatsumode (the first shrine visit of the New Year) and summer festivals. While many of them are simply run by local businesses, some of them are overseen by yakuza groups.

However, due to the pandemic, many of these seasonal events have been canceled, providing fewer opportunities for folks to set up their stalls.

An interview with a local yakuza leader on Daily Shincho reveals more in-depth details:

“We usually make the most money selling to folks visiting shrines at the year’s end and New Years. But this year cause of COVID-19, it’s become completely impossible. Compared to previous years, our profits are only one-third of what we usually make. The number of operating food stalls has shrunk because of government anti-COVID-19 measures, and in addition to that, the crowds visiting shrines have gone thinner.”

Furthermore, he elaborated on the circumstances if a group decided to set up food stalls regardless of the pandemic:

“Even Tokyo’s Meiji Shrine, which receives the most visitors at New Year in Japan, has shortened our operating hours. No one’s around even at eight or nine at night, which are usually the peak hours. In the past business has always been good but….”

With an overall decrease in sales and Ueno Park canceling its annual Cherry Blossom Festival for 2021, one of the largest hanami events in Japan, this year’s financial prospects are looking bleak, although quite frankly maybe that’s for the better considering the violence these crime groups perpetrate.

Outside of food stalls, COVID-19 has also affected how local yakuza groups operate in general. Considering most of their members are older and more at risk, some groups have suspended their annual end-of-the-year and New Year gatherings, cancelled drinking parties, and avoided working in-person as well.

Only time will tell how yakuza groups will operate in a post-COVID-19 world.

Source: Daily Shincho via Yahoo! News via Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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-- Asia’s most notorious gangs: an ever-present power

-- 14 tips for visiting the Mt Fuji Shibazakura Festival, where beautiful “lawn sakura” blossom

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

26 Comments
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“We usually make the most money selling to folks visiting shrines at the year’s end and New Years’’

i thought they make it through scams & extortion

16 ( +16 / -0 )

I have sympathy for those stalls “simply run by local businesses” but not for these dregs. My only fear is that they lean harder on their other criminal behaviors to make up for it.

The yaks should all be put on an island and given the Battle Royale treatment. And the last man standing should be left there.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

While many of them are simply run by local businesses, some of them are overseen by yakuza groups

What does mean overseen ?

The yakuzas get a percentage on the sale or do run directly the stalls ?

For any stall, I suppose it must be done an application to the city office and get an approval. And before that, the right to operate a food business. So, it must be run legally.

For an isolated food stall in the streets, the police will check for sure. At a festival, I do not know but a city officer might check as I suppose it is not free to setup the stall

4 ( +4 / -0 )

An interview with a local yakuza leader

It is always funny for me to read something like that.

Everyone knows he is a Yakuza leader and he is organizing crimes.

But instead of arresting him, they interviewed him.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

The name of the leader not named. Did I miss it?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Complaints about the pandemic response from the working public fall on deaf ears but who you know is everything so this one might actually get heard.

So start up GoTo Yakuza-run Festival Food Stall or something a bit more catchy.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Good, I'm glad to hear their cash flow is being impacted. With Japan being a "modern and civilized" nation, I am surprised the Yakuza are still allowed to exist and wander around for as long as they have. The police and government should be doing everything they can to find and arrest all members of the Yakuza.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Cry me a river.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Despite the overall negative effect of the pandemic, a few positives have been forced upon Japan: working from home; flexible working hours; reducing hanko use; ending nomikai and bonenkai; restaurant takeout and delivery becoming commonplace; and now, yakuza revenue down.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I'm sure they'll find a way how to compensate this loss. Like through some proxy construction company which will be "selected" by the government and getting loads of money. Or how about distributing the vaccines or take advantage of the whole covid situation?

We are probably the only country, where Yakuza is not hiding in the shadows, but getting away with things, publicly. They are running their "legitimate business" publicly, their "office" has even signs all over it, they often don't hide their names, etc. Yet, our government is not doing anything about it. Take pachinko parlours for example.

As [email protected]:18 am JST mentioned, they arrest a guy about 150Yen-100Yen (which is like, 50Yen loss? My math is not good with such huge numbers) coffee from a konbini, but those guys are running around freely. They often stand on the street in many entertainment districts, sometimes passing some things from hand to hand, police officers nearby but nothing happens. Officers are rather busy bothering people who parked their bicycle in a non parking area.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Did a stint at a festival stall years ago. This aggressive guy (another stall owner) used to push his way to the front, help himself to goods and snarl at the owner. I was told, it was ok, let him take what he wanted. We were all at a loss what to do, to think this still continues is unacceptable

10 ( +10 / -0 )

You realize how pathetic and incompetent is the police in Japan by reading those kind of news. In any normal country the Mob is hunted and outlawed, only here in Japan Yakuza roams freely , makes public announcements and runs business as usual. I guess "protection money", "extortion money", "racketing" and the rest of their "activities" are perfectly legal on this country.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

This is tragic! First, they are ‘left out‘ of the negotiated $15.4 billion ‘international syndicate’ gamble and now, this? Not fair, at all.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No reason to focus on. They are as just equally affected as the rest of businesses and private people. Who could spare some money and keep it in good times can now use it step by step and faces no differences to times before the pandemic. All other companies and people have the problems now and haven’t money in the background left, because they have spent it before and had a better life beforehand. On average it’s the same, but some do their life constantly and the others like a sine curve.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I misread the headline as "Yakuza Air complains about..." and was wondering which airline was under control of the Yaks

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Yakuza air complaints about COVID-19’s effect on money gains

Who are they complaining to? The moon? The stars? The batwoman in China? Join the club, er, the rest of the world, morons.

Outside of food stalls, COVID-19 has also affected how local yakuza groups operate in general. Considering most of their members are older and more at risk, some groups have suspended their annual end-of-the-year and New Year gatherings, cancelled drinking parties, and avoided working in-person as well.

So, what you guys want? A cookie? Get some legit jobs and shut it.

“Even Tokyo’s Meiji Shrine, which receives the most visitors at New Year in Japan, has shortened our operating hours. No one’s around even at eight or nine at night, which are usually the peak hours. In the past business has always been good but….”

I have an idear. Why don't you guys go to the Eki and round up some of the loiterers and get some money from them? Or get your little bosuzoku bike boys and have a party together. Do something productive instead.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

tooheysnew

“We usually make the most money selling to folks visiting shrines at the year’s end and New Years’’

i thought they make it through scams & extortion

Not mutually exclusive. The vendors pay the mob for "permission" to operate their stalls.

However using the Yakuza as a justification for these stupid overreaching lockdowns is a feeble excuse.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"In any normal country the Mob is hunted and outlawed, only here in Japan Yakuza roams freely , makes public announcements and runs business as usual."

"aggressive guy (another stall owner) used to push his way to the front, help himself to goods and snarl at the owner. I was told, it was ok, let him take what he wanted. We were all at a loss what to do, to think this still continues is unacceptable"

Simply put, in the end you get what you tolerate.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I laughed at the idea that yakuza, who are arrested just for playing golf, are free.

By the way, it is the TEKIYA organization called "HISHITEI-BOURYOKUDAN" that is allowed to run a food stall, not a criminal organization.

The "SHITEI-BOURYOKUDAN" like YAMAGUCHI-GUMI have been banned from running the stalls.

On February 25, a member of the Yamaguchi-Gumi organization was arrested for running a food stall in 2018.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They don't make money selling food, they make money by shaking down the people who sell food, or by forcing them to pay "rent" for their site. It's just like these pigs to prey on the vulnerable and marginalized.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I misread the headline as "Yakuza Air complains about..." and was wondering which airline was under control of the Yaks

I thought it was about Yakuza Airbnb for a sec.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yakuza losers in their way of self extintion..

You realize how pathetic and incompetent is the police in Japan by reading those kind of news.

Tissue??..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

” Let them burn, Charlie, let them burn. “

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Like any of us give a rats behind about the poor hard done by Yaks..

pfft

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Only in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Perhaps they should start a GoFundMe page?

Or get proper jobs

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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