Japanese police to rehabilitate ex-Yakuza members

JAPAN YAKUZA | 16 de Julio de 2015
Japanese policemen on the beat in Tokyo, Japan. EFE/File
Tokyo, Jul 16 (EFE).- Japan's National Police Agency, or NPA, has decided to implement programs to rehabilitate former members of the Yakuza, or organized crime syndicate, following the success of a plan in the southern part of the country.
The NPA seeks to replicate on a national level, a model successfully employed in Fukuoka prefecture, a hotspot for Yakuza groups such as Yamaguchi-gumi, the largest one in the country, Asahi newspaper reported Thursday on its website.
The model includes relocation of "yamebo," or those who leave the gangs to other regions of the country, to protect them from reprisals from their former bosses in the syndicate.
"Enhancing cooperation with agencies in other prefectures will lead to more opportunities for former yakuza to find jobs. That will result in an increasing number of 'come-outers' and weaken the organizational strength of yakuza groups," a senior Fukuoka prefectural police official told Asahi.
The police program has been a remarkable success as the Yakuza's numbers in Fukuoka in 2014 reached 1,560 (a fall of 170), its lowest since 1992, when the national law against organized crime came into effect.
The police attributes a part of the success to the weakening of the Kudo-kai, a small but violent group, upon which they have cracked down since September.
Another important factor for rehabilitation has been a facility by which the gangsters can leave their criminal life behind by simply making a call to the police, according to the spokesperson.
The rehabilitation program in Fukuoka includes collaboration between the police and a non-profit, which contacts companies outside the prefecture to help "yamebos" find jobs.
The idea is to imitate the model throughout the country and create a network to have more number of companies willing to employ these former criminals in different parts of the country.