Membership shrinks to 6,000 in Japan’s largest yakuza syndicate

(From Asahi Shimbun)

The number of Yamaguchi-gumi members plummeted to around 6,000 from 10,300 in late 2014 following the breakup of Japan’s largest organized crime syndicate and tighter controls on gangster activity, police sources said.

a tattooEven combined with the 2,800 members of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, a new group formed by gangs that split from the main syndicate, total membership as of late January fell below 10,000 for the first time on record, the sources said.

The National Police Agency started keeping tabs on membership numbers of the Yamaguchi-gumi and other designated crime syndicates in 1992, when the Yamaguchi-gumi had a record-high 22,200 members.

The split of the Kobe-based crime syndicate in late August last year has led many members to retire, investigative sources said.

The trend of members leaving yakuza groups has spread across Japan.

In late 2014, the number of gang members in Japan was 22,300, around one-fifth of the peak. Read more

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