Police in Tokyo are forcing members from two rival, frequently rumbling gangs to get along by forming a sports team together.
The two gangs have been feuding since roughly two years ago, and last August, decided that it was time to settle the score. To make things as dramatic as possible, a total of 29 teens gathered at a shrine in Tokyo’s Fuchu City, and their intention wasn’t to quietly pray and peacefully work out their differences, as evidenced by the fact that one side showed up with metal baseball bats.
Noticing they’d brought their knuckles to a bat fight, the unarmed side fled before the brawl could start in earnest. The police eventually picked up the leaders of the two gangs, plus one other member, before filing reports on the three with the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
As minors, though, and since no violence actually occurred, locking both groups up until they’re too old and weak to physically hurt each other wasn’t an option. Still, the police realized something had to be done before tensions and tempers boiled over again, and came up with a unique plan.
Whereas one gang had seen the other carrying bats, police apparently thought that since the kids already have half the equipment they need, they might play some softball.
Since the goal is for the two groups to learn to get along with each other, the gangs won’t be playing against each other. Instead, they’ll be formed into one large team that will face off against a squad of police officers in a game later this month.
The police say they hope this will not only lead to the youths letting bygones be bygones, but hopefully will also lead to the dissolution of the two gangs themselves. Cynics may argue it’s unlikely that both of those will happen, since losing might lead to finger-pointing and squabbling among teammates, and winning may just make them realize that if they join forces, even the police won’t be able to stop them.
Source: NHK via Jin
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