Monday, April 4 2016 13:14 EEST
''Battle of two Oyabuns'' - Japanese Police Prepare for ‘Nationwide Yakuza War’
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Japan is now on the brink of a new war, and this time it can happen within the country itself. The largest group of Japanese mafia yakuza "Yamaguchi-gumi" has split as leaders from the city of Kobe separated from the main organization. After that, they created their own Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi group, preparing to defend their independence. Police has been at the ready and even formed a special unit to watch over the situation.

Yamaguchi-gumi is the world's largest yakuza group that celebrated its 100th anniversary last year. It has tens of thousands of people, not to mention the thousands of mafia family members and owners of legal businesses, which help the mafia.

The sixth Oyabun Kenichi Synod, who also is known as Shinobu Tsukasa, became the head of the group in 2005. He significantly differs from his predecessors because his style of ruling is more democratic.

Far not all the people liked the Oyabun’s Napoleonic plans: Kenichi was eager to complete the expansion to the east that was started by his predecessor, as well as to take control of Tokyo. He persuaded one of the local gangs to join Yamaguchi-gumi and established a real foothold in the capital. It was obvious that Kanto Hatsuka-kai group that controlled the metropolis was not going to give up without fight. Both sides were preparing for a major war.

Despite an obvious hostility, the war didn’t start at all, because Kenichi Synod was suddenly arrested. The leader spent six years in jail and was released in April 2011.

However, Yamaguchi-gumi had had an opposition by that time. The confrontation between Oyabun and the Fronde lasted for four years and finished with the split. In August 2015, the organization lost several influential bands, including the largest Yamaguchi group – Yamaki-gumi.

Since those times, police has already registered 17 shootings between loyalists and rebels; the war covered 10 out of 47 Japanese prefectures. Recently, unknown individuals have stolen a garbage truck and rammed the office door that belonged to one of the rebel gangs.

In this struggle, the third party, which is watching over the scene with great interest, is Japanese police. Law enforcement officers have developed stormy activity. They created a special unit to watch over the situation in Kobe, gave numerous interviews, and issued warnings for ordinary citizens.

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