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Yakuza involved in Fukushima clean-up: reporter

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My bet is the journo has his ducks in a row and TEPCO is once again lying.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Japan's ugly darkside has really been exposed this year.

14 ( +21 / -7 )

The Yakuza was a 'shadow government' in Japan, they were paying huge 'contributions' to statesmen making flavorable laws to protect their 'business' legally! And the Japanese public knows they were 'everywhere'!

9 ( +13 / -5 )

So,it's the trash...taking out the trash..I can live with that.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This is a given. At least the yakuza are more honest than tepco and the muppet government.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

More effective than the government half the time - remember the efforts after the Kobe Earthquake. Once again, too much negativity on this forum from short-sighted foreigners with nothing but short term memories of Japan.

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

“They are in charge of collecting people, finding people and dispatching workers to the site.”

Suzuki says yakuza groups have long sent debtors to nuclear power plants as workers as a way of paying off loans made at sky-high rates, adding the practice “will continue to occur.”

Now only if the Keystones could follow this thinking and send the child abusers, stabbers, and all those other retards that we read about in the news to assist with the clean up at the reactor instead of putting them in jail.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Once again, too much negativity on this forum from short-sighted foreigners with nothing but short term memories of Japan.

Don't think it was a "short-sighted foreigner" who wrote this bit of news.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Great! The trash taking out the radiation trash?? Sounds just about right! Let me see, if the poor homeless they pick up there in the back streets of Osaka are supposed to be getting 400,000 yen PER DAY, I wonder what % the YAKUZA are getting??

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

More lies being told to everyone!! How can they get people to believe anything that they say when they continue to lie and cover up the truth about what is really going on!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I don't think he'll be invited to the annual "Press Club" Christmas party!

Japan needs more freelance journalist, problem is no-one reads what they write so very hard to make decent money.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I call bull.... I don't believe this story even in the slightest.

-15 ( +4 / -18 )

it is naive to think that the yakuza are NOT involved. Almost everything construction / demolition related can be traced back to yakuza ties...

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Where there's money to be made...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"They are in charge of collecting people, finding people and dispatching workers to the site."

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Collecting money from people, finding people (Loan Sharks) and dispatching workers to the site (All tested and clean) ;-)

The Yaks are serving their purpose.

Suzuki says yakuza groups have long sent debtors to nuclear power plants as workers as a way of paying off loans made at sky-high rates, adding the practice "will continue to occur."

Disgusting Japan

6 ( +9 / -4 )

I dont know a lot about the Yakuza and I am sure I wouldnt want to get involved with them, certainly not to be in trouble with them, but the little contact I have had with Yakuza men over the years has always been a nice experience. They have been invariably polite and charming to me, friendly and genuinely interested in chatting with me. I met a guy on holiday once and he and his wife were lovely, and super-excited as it was their first time on a plane!

I heard all about the work they did after the Kobe quake, and they rushed up to Tohoku within hours of 3/11.

I am sure there is a dark side to all of this and the less I know the better, but just saying my very limited experience has left me with a good impression. At least they are straightforward which is more I can say about TEPCO and the government.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

I am sure there is a dark side to all of this.

Underage porn, drugs and loan sharking with the occasional murder to keep the kops and public in line, yeah lets here it for the criminals. Bravo!

Oh and if a media organization is critical of something they do it's not unusual to kill the odd editor or too!

Lovely chaps.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

This story is not surprising in the slightest sense. I say the more help, the merrier. I don't really think this is a time to play politics or moral games, especially when the end result is a rebuilt/reconstruction Tohoku region [I doubt the Yakuza would only dispatch these people to Fukushima, as I'm sure they have been dispatched elsewhere too].

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It is well documented ( on film) that the yakuza are involved in the supply of workers. The Tepco spokeswoman is either blatantly a liar or woefully ignorant. Maybe the article should include this ''spokewoman's" name? Tepco is hand in glove with organized crime.......

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Just as Nicky said, Yakuza people are decent, as long as you don't step in their way of making money. If you in any way disrupt their business, then yeah, they are far from nice.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The gangs, which are not illegal, have historically been tolerated by the authorities,

So I don't see a story here. If the general population is content to let the gangs exist and do not pass laws to control them, then they need to accept the fleas they are bound to get from the dog they are laying down with.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Last year, 88% of the 83,000 workers at the nation's 18 commercial nuclear power plants were contract workers, according to Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, a government regulator.

These workers are known as Nuclear Gypsies. The Yakuza are not only supplying temp workers but also much of the machinery being used at the Fukushima plant. They control many of the trucking companies going in and out of the nuke plant.

Temporary workers at the Fukushima plant in 2010 also faced radiation levels 16 times higher than did employees of TEPCO.

Contractors are called in for the most dangerous work, according to the government's industrial safety agency.

This job is a death sentence, performed by workers who aren't being given information about the dangers they face.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-japan-nuclear-gypsies-20111204,0,347252.story

The Yakuza aren't doing anyone a favor except themselves. These workers have no health checks, no recourse if involved in an accident and can't work.

The workers are getting less than ¥15,000/day, the Yakuza four or five times that. They also have to pay their own accommodation which means room sharing in a hotel in Fukushima City.

In Miyagi a group of Yakuza falsly claimed about ¥35 million in disaster aid. Just a tip of something much more wide spread.

At Fukushima nuke plant there are 140 nuclear gypsies they can't trace to measure for radiation contamination.

12 ( +12 / -1 )

Cannot say to much or i get into trouble at my local onsen

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"A spokeswoman for TEPCO denied there had been any yakuza involvement in efforts to clean up the plant."

Phew! For a minute there I thought the journalist might not be telling the truth... glad TEPCO can set the record straight!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

To all you who believe the Yakuza are "Robin Hood" types and doing a service are just embarassingly flouting your ignorance.

Beneath a thin veneer of "politeness" you will find a corrupt violent stain that permeates through out society. Any money goods or services "offered" to help less fortunate ones, come from despicable crimes, causing untold misery for many.

Blood Money doesn't even begin to describe it.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

The yakuza crime syndicates were the first to come to help after 311. Let them do their share.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

YAWNNNNNNNNNN

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

The yakuza crime syndicates were the first to come to help after 311. Let them do their share.

People are reading this wrong, the Yakuza are sending REGULAR PEOPLE to the the plant to pay off their loan debts to them. The article says the Yakuza are not on the ground but sending people that owe them money there.

Don't mistake their actions, they are just trying to profit from this at the expense of human lives.

The Yakuza owns so much construction companies this was bound to happen, any sort of government handout the the Yakuza are there to take their cut.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

CrazyJoe: "the first to come help after 3/11"

Is that what you call that guy who rammed his van through the fence at Fukushima Daiichi about a week after the meltdown? How was that helpful? I thought it was just grandstanding.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

agree with Browny. The Yakuza as Robin Hood myth may have had a kernal of truth decades ago, but they are in the business of loan sharking and intimidation of businesses from mom and pop stores to the likes of Olympus. They wouldnt be involved in Fukushima unless they were making a buck. God knows, as Suzuki points out, they aren't helping themselves.

Once again, too much negativity on this forum from short-sighted foreigners with nothing but short term memories of Japan

Theresident - more sad self-hating japanophilia.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

There are good ones and bad ones. Some of the Yaks I knew in the 60's and the 70's were good. They did come to help after 311. Business goes smoothly with the Yaks. They're not all that bad.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Robin Hood robbed the rich to feed the poor. The Yakuza rob the poor to feed themselves.

10 ( +13 / -2 )

@crazyjoe; sorry mate don't believe the PR line that they feed you, I can't see how all the drugs, guns, load sharking and sex industry is "not all that bad". Take a loan from the Yakuza and can't pay it off straight away they will send you to the nuclear power plant to work off your debt, send your daughter to the soap land to service people and make your son sell drugs on the street.... "not all that bad heh?"

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The Yakuza rob the poor to feed themselves.

Zichi, ..No we don't...well....not all the time.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I thought this was getting alleged months ago. Or is it only getting news because he has a book coming out?

Don't think anyone is particularly surprised that the Yakuza are heavily involved in construction/rebuilding contracts that are being awarded up around Fukushima.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How many times have I met foreigners who had a beer with a Yak, enjoyed the talk, and declared them "Stand-up guys", all the while ignoring the sadistic things they do to make a buck.

5 ( +9 / -5 )

Just wondering why this story is in the crime section...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I do not think there are real mafia here. The men act so much like women.

But I guess we have to believe the author, because it is on this site.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Everyone working at a reactor should have training. If the tech falls down the janitor should know what valve to turn off. The article sunds like in Japan anyone can work in one, exposing society to the risk of a maniac walking out with dirty bomb materials. Anybody know about the security?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

hey how about just fixing the problem, i dont care if the yaks are involved, the miltary or all the crims in jail...

just fix it

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Beneath a thin veneer of "politeness" you will find a corrupt violent stain that permeates through out society. Any money goods or services "offered" to help less fortunate ones, come from despicable crimes, causing untold misery for many.

Are you talking about Yakuza or Politicians? Honestly confused here. ;-)

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Business as usual.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

society is by definition, corrupt

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

How can anyone possibly be defending the yakuza on this? They aren't doing charity work; they're not doing any work at all -- just collecting undoubtedly large amounts of aid money to organize people who owe them debt and send them working at cut-rate prices (for which the yaks probably demand full pay from TEPCO... ie., your taxes).

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Wherever there is good money to be made, the Yakuza are there.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I though there was a law saying that government money cannot go to the Yaks for constrauction and other services. And since TEPCO is getting substanitial amounts of cash from the government, there shouldn't be any going to them. I guess those laws were just made to make everyone feel better that the government doesnt have any ties with gangs (even though that is a lie). In this situation I guess it is even harder to divide who is working for the gang and who are just regular day labourers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Is there anything important or official that takes place in Japan without leaving me feeling annoyed?

I think it is time to clear out the entire government, quasi government agencies and every board of directors from Japanese institutions. Replace them with honest hard working, ethical and law abiding citizens... That is our only chance of seeing real change... Otherwise it will continue to be dodgy and corrupt business as usual, and no one saying or doing anything about it (apart from Mr Woodford)...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The Yakuza are mostly right-wing nationalists who hate foreigners unless they are members of the Triads or something.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

love the Yakuza

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Now you see why the whole world nobody taking Japanese government's words 'seriously'! Their nation is 'pointless'!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The yakuza are a necessary evil here in Japan. Police, yakuza and politicians are all the same without their badges.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Someday if japan caught in war with neighbouring countries, the yakuza will recuirting people to fight foreign invasions and the self defense force sitting 'idle'!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Man oh man I cant believe how many gaijin on this thread have been fooled by the yakuza, embarassing!

While this is very old news, its common knowledge yakuza supply cheap labour all over Japan to all kinds of industry, especially to nuke plants & they skim TON & TONS of YEN from my ^%&&^%% wallet!

People on here need to realize that they are skimming likely around 10-20% of the re-construction budget & this dont include the KB the politicians are going to snag, we have ahd what 4 supplementary budgets in the trillions of yen, it pisses me off bigtime to know how much of this is wasted & outright stolen, truly sickening.

This is only more evidence that not only olympus but the entire country is rotten to the core, it is way beyond fixing folks, I am a long termer here with family but I aint going to friggin grow old & croak here, the future here is dark as hell.

Again, man I cant believe how some of you have fallen for yakuza charm, pull back the veil & see whats really happened & happening, it aint good & bods very bad for the future here!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

sakurala: "I though there was a law saying that government money cannot go to the Yaks for constrauction and other services."

That's the thing -- the loopholes would be so obvious and easy. The yakuza, unlike mafia in other nations, are not illegal, so they can just say the money's not coming 'from the government' but from TEPCO (given to them by the government). So they beat the system and everyone says 'shouganai'.

So now we have government (ie. YOUR) money going towards new fighter jets which cost a fortune, defending whalers, and the yakuza. Good to see the priorities are still well in place.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yes of course the Yaks are supplying labour to the nuke plants as stated above by other posters, they supply most labour in japan in some shape or form.

They have many fingers (not all little fingers either) in many many pies here and are going to be impossible to get rid of.

The govt and tepco know all too well the yaks control the labour, trucking, garbage, car auctions, clubs, prostituion, drugs, gambling, racketeering, politicians, police, martsuri stalls, and practicly almost every other aspect of life in japan.

They are so well woven into the fabric of this country you will never be able to unravel the cloth that is the make up of this society.

The question is - who are the biggest crimminals Tepco, the Govt or the Yaks ??

2 ( +3 / -1 )

We have them here in the States as well, along with the Triads,old old Chinese Benevolent Societies, the Russian Mob, the Mexican Drug cartel that launders $660billion a year here in or country, of course our Mafia. I often wonder how much our own politicians make of the various crime groups. After all the main reason to serve in the Congress is how fast it can make you a millionaire. Here corruption is counted in billions of dollars and not just the crime groups or in it, most major corporations are in it and nearly all of our politicians. Meanwhile the latest statistics from our last census show that 47% of Americans or either low pay workers or in poverty. meanwhile we are giving our president the right to have anyone taken without charge and stored away in military prisons indefinitely. So rapidly the pretense of being either a democracy, or a republic, is being tossed aside. So remember do what we say, not as we do.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And in other news...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan's ugly darkside has really been exposed this year.

hoserfella -- too true, too true.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

ExportExpert can you stop saying "yaks"?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

They are also right-wing nationalists.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Am I the only one shocked at the 10%?! I thought it would be much, much higher. They are more honest than the Japanese government and TEPCO.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

zichiDec. 16, 2011 - 09:15AM JST

This job is a death sentence, performed by workers who aren't being given information about the dangers they face.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-japan-nuclear-gypsies-20111204,0,347252.story

And yet, in the article we learn that the main subject, Kazuo Okawa, started this work in 1992, and after almost 2 decades has no apparent health problems associated with his work.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

its nice to see the Yakuza are getting involved in caring for their community

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It is very common for Yakuza to "hire" and use people who are in debt; extreme japanese porn (for example involving bestiality) are usually made with women who are in debt; same thing with a lot of "fishermen" working in the sea of Okhotsk, etc.... Yakuza are trash. Period.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The gangs, which are not illegal, have historically been tolerated by the authorities, although there are periodic clampdowns on some of their less savory activities.

If the gangs, aka Yakuza, are not illegal, then please explain to me why associating with them potentially gets a person tossed into jail? Also why are there anti-Yakuza laws on the books? Misprint maybe?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

but the little contact I have had with Yakuza men over the years has always been a nice experience. They have been invariably polite and charming to me, friendly and genuinely interested in chatting with me.

Of course they are nice to naïve looking people in their neighborhood so that people would spread the words like “Yakuza are polite, charming, and very friendly”. You have no idea how evil they are. They use violent methods to buy up small parcels of land that Oji-chan and Oba-chan lived, driving them out, and then resell the land in a large block to a developer, making tremendous profit, like Roppongi-hills for example.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A spokeswoman for TEPCO denied there had been any yakuza involvement in efforts to clean up the plant.

Ha!

If you believe for one nano-second that the Yakuza don't have their tentacles wrapped around every facet of the Fukushima cleanup, as well as every other legal or illegal activity here in Japan, you are living in a dream world...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Maybe if the yakuza were running this country, things would get done. The present setup with the Jinminto blocking everything Minshuto tries to do results in nothing but foot dragging. Before the last big election the Jinminto were seen as being corrupt with their dictatorship government over the years. That's one of the many reasons that the Jinminto were ousted in favor of Minshuto. It was under Jinminto's rule that the nuclear power plants were built and organizations such as TEPCO took over the operations. Guess the yakuza have to be brought in to clean up the whole mess ... not only 10% if it ...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The Yakuza treat me right because I treat them right. You boys must learn to be more like us girls.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

The Yakuza treat me right because I treat them right. You boys must learn to be more like us girls

Sorry I am not built the same way so it's physically impossible for me to do so. And if I got more graphic in my response I am quite sure the post would not stay here too long either.

5 ( +5 / -1 )

I wish his books would sell better thanks to fuss.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"So,it's the trash...taking out the trash..I can live with that."

I disagree with this statement. Its not the yakuza that are taking out nuclear trash. They are forcing other people including homeless people to do the dirty work for their profit. They dont touch trash they force others to take trash out for them, but I guess that is what happens when people get involved with the Yakuza.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

oh the soft gentle side of the yakuza. they are just trying to win people over. & they are Not a "secret society" everyone one in Nihon & abroad knows about them. the Yakuza Helping - Yasashii, wonder what they want?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

theResident "Once again, too much negativity on this forum from short-sighted foreigners with nothing but short term memories of Japan."

I don't know about that. I've been in Japan since the mid 80s. How short term is that? Japan is a society that in many ways within one generation went from 3rd world to 1st world. From farmers pouring human faeces on their fields to cleanrooms and microchips. I remember being astonished at the low standard of living here when I first came because the nation was being vaunted as "number 1." Most people where I lived were heating their bath water with firewood. The faculty toilet in the wooden middle school where I worked was unisex. Women walked by the urinals to get to the stalls. Flush toilets were a novelty. My point is that the autocratic bureaucracy, its cooperation with crime syndicates, politics based on personal relationships and bereft of principles, these are all residue from an earlier period. It's not at all surprising that organised crime is involved in the nuclear plant site, because it always has been.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm confused:

The gangs, which are not illegal, have historically been tolerated by the authorities, although there are periodic clampdowns on some of their less savory activities.

but

"We are taking action under the law against crime syndicates, and we understand that our contractors are properly hiring employees," she told AFP.

So the law takes action against "crime syndicates", but the Yakuza is not illegal? And why aren't the police clamping down on ALL of the Yakuza's "less savory activities"?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Organised crime is tolerated in Japan because...well, one example would be drugs. Has anyone seen heroin in Japan?There are a plethora of drugs out there but heroin is kept off the market or very strictly controlled by the yakuza.

In fact,I have yet to see one needle in the street here ever, in over 20 years

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Help comes in rhe form of Yakuza.. So what's wrong with that ? Whats the big fuss......

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I have read the book (the first half). The author says yakuza sent those debtors to nuclear power plants as they know those workers will be exposed to high levels of radiation and will be sick. Then they will blackmail TEPCO to pay huge amount of compensation.

"We are taking action under the law against crime syndicates, and we understand that our contractors are properly hiring employees," she told AFP.

Not exactly true. TEPCO are very careful not to hire anybody from so-obvious-crime-syndicates, but hiring people from so called "front companies". 暴力団廃止条例(new anti-gang regulations) is ignored by TEPCO, the police, and the government. If TEPCO followed the regulations, they were not supposed to send service (electricity) to any Yakuza related companies.

Suzuki videotaped things going on in the plants with a pinhole camera hidden in his watch. He said he bought the watch at amazon.com for 5,480yen.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Exactly, where theres money to be made, not surprised Yakuza involved, if people don't realize obviously its either a fad this year of Yakuza wanting to act like they helping citizens out for media gain lol, or they working on something behind the scenes as usual and this is only covering it up to make them look good. They love to help but guaranteed in the future there's a price.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Really. I would have been surprised if the Yaks hadn't been involved. They were probably involved in the construction too. Maybe they should have to pay some compensation costs to the people displaced by radiation?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Considering that the yakuza were faster and more effective than the government in their aid to the people of Kobe after the big quake in 95, this does not surprise me.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@JapanGal

I'm beginning to suspect that you're actually a fat, bald middle-aged bloke with a leg fetish. Am I wrong? :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@supermonk7: read the article not the headline.

@seesaw1: read the article not the headline

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They are involved in most of Japanese life in some way or another.

This is no revelation,,,,,,,,,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is a fact. The Yakuzas tentacles are all over Japan in doing any kind of business and protecting their businesses by any means. They have even infiltrated government departments to mention a few to protect them. I have met some who are even drinking partners of some policemen and city hall employees. Btw, have you seen their big bosses night clubbing with their big imported cars parked illegally on the street fronting the night club building with their bodyguards arrogantly standing near the cars with hazard lights on. Funny too cuz you can see police patrol cars standing by the vicinity with their blinkers flashing too. It seem like there will be a big fight to erupt. hahahaha... Btw I have observed this in Jinya Eki Mae, Koriyama City, Fukushima Ken.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It was an interesting reading, specially the comments. And after reading more abut the yakuza on Wikipedia I have to admit they have a dark side, but trust me, it is nothing. I can't imagine Mexican cartels helping others after natural disasters.... I'd rather live near a yakuza member anytime than living next to a "Z".... you guys have no idea what it feels like to live in fear of "los zetas"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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