Photo: SoraNews24
crime

Yakuza members arrested for going to baseball game

25 Comments
By SoraNews24

You might have noticed a fair bit of coverage recently regarding the ever-shrinking liberties of Japan’s yakuza. No phone, no supermarket loyalty points, no motor cars, not a single luxury. Like Robinson Crusoe, it’s as primitive as can be.

But on April 8, a pair of gangsters learned the hard way that they can’t even enjoy the great Japanese pastime of professional baseball at the stadium. Hyogo Prefectural Police arrested 78-year-old Fujio Sakai and 52-year-old Hideki Deguchi on suspicion of unlawful entry when they went into the famous Koshien Stadium to watch the home team Hanshin Tigers take on the Yakult Swallows.

Charges of this nature often stem back to the Organized Crime Exclusion Ordinances that were introduced nationwide around 2011. However, in this case Nippon Professional Baseball was way ahead of the curve and already blackballed yakuza members way back in 2003.

Moreover, the Hanshin Tigers were at the center of this move due to a series of incidents linked to their unofficial cheerleading corps known as Chutora Rengokai. This was a group of some 500 Tigers fans who occupied seats together and cheered extra loudly for the team.

This was mainly just harmless high-spirited fun at a baseball game. However, behind the scenes, yakuza members were allegedly running various rackets to profit from it. One way was by scalping Chutora Rengokai seats by having homeless people line up for tickets and then selling them to diehard fans for about three times the price.

There was also an incident where connected members of Chutora Rengokai threatened to kill a manager at Koshien Staduim because after a game where Hanshin Tigers narrowly defeated the Yomiuri Giants they were going to throw the Tigers manager into the air in celebration before Chutora Rengokai could sing the team song “Rokko Oroshi.”

Speaking of the team song, there was also an incident where Chutora Rengokai claimed ownership of “Rokko Oroshi” and even filed the copyright with JASRAC. It wasn’t until some 20 million yen in CD and ringtone sales were made that it was realized Chutora Rengokai had no right to royalties because the original songwriter was unknown. Needless to say, at around this time, the Tigers and professional baseball as a whole felt it best to just put a blanket ban on all organized crime at their stadiums.

That was all quite some time ago though, and many people have forgotten about all those troubles. Even when Sakai and Deguchi joined the audience earlier this month they didn’t notice the sign at the stadium entrance stating that members of organized crime were not permitted to enter. But even if they had, with the thousands of spectators at a single game, it’d be pretty easy for yakuza members to slip by unnoticed and many probably have in the past.

But on April 8, it just so happened that the car that took the pair to the game was illegally parked outside the stadium. While police questioned the driver they grew suspicious that his passengers may have been connected. So, they staked out the car until the game was over and identified Sakai and Deguchi as they walked back to it. Arrests were made the following day.

Both men admitted to the charges and Deguchi even expressed his surprise, reportedly telling police: “I didn’t know yakuza can’t go to baseball games.” He certainly isn’t alone either, and it’s food for thought for any youngster looking to enter the life of organized crime. Sure, there’s all the glitz and glamor that comes along with stealing sea cucumbers in the middle of the night, but think of everything you’d have to give up.

Sources: Mainichi Shimbun, Daily Shincho, Golden Times

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Yep, that’s illegal in Japan – Yakuza boss arrested for making supermarket point card

-- Ocean’s 11: heist of over 2M yen in sea cucumbers thwarted by Japanese coast guard

-- Yakuza bosses struggling to upgrade phones from 3G

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

25 Comments
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Good to see the police busy as ever clearing up the murders and other serious crimes, oh hang on.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

on suspicion of unlawful entry when they went into the famous Koshien Stadium to watch the home team Hanshin Tigers take on the Yakult Swallows.

Do they buy the ticket? If so then the whole arrest is just a waste of tax payer money.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Sounds like an effective and painless way of dissuading recruits and slowly starving them out of existence. What’s the point of making all that money if you can’t enjoy it or have the nice shiny toys or even the every day pleasures?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

If they really want to go after the Yakuza and get people not to join them, then they should hit the film industry. Crack down on yakuza films that always display them as having honor. Which is far from reality as they are just parasites that takes from the weak.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

threatened to kill a manager at Koshien Staduim because after a game where Hanshin Tigers narrowly defeated the Yomiuri Giants they were going to throw the Tiger’s manager Tatsunori Hara into the air in celebration before Chutora Rengokai could sing the team song “Rokko Oroshi.”

This doesn’t make sense, Tatsunori Hara is the Giants manager, he’s never managed the Tigers.

Moderator: Thanks for pointing that out. It has been corrected.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Any young person who feels that organised crime is for them should stop in their tracks and switch to politics. It's very similar to organised crime but everything you do is legal, and you get paid for it.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

If they really want to go after the Yakuza and get people not to join them, then they should hit the film industry. Crack down on yakuza films that always display them as having honor. Which is far from reality as they are just parasites that takes from the weak.

The film industry and the real estate market, there are too many building licenses being managed fraudulently by Yakuza gangs.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

How about doing the same for concerts and concert tickets? When big name bands come to Japan, the seats are often all sold out in seconds. It is virtually impossible to get arena seats.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Good to see the police busy as ever clearing up the murders and other serious crimes, oh hang on.

Right, how dare they waste their time on things like arresting Yakuza members, right? The nerve.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Excellent sleuthing regarding the Tigers manager, my fellow fans. 2003 was Senichi Hoshino in his second and final year managing the Tigers, doubtless getting the victory toss treatment for leading the team to a division win after an 18 year drought. Bad health forced him to quit at the peak of success, though he had a comeback to manage the national team and Rakuten at the end of the oughts.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This anaconda strategy is a particularly Japanese (and slowly but increasingly effective) method of dealing with home-grown yaks.

Society won’t make it illegal to BE a yak. It will just shun them from everything denying them privileges and opportunities to yak it up.

This not only decreases the power and scope of yak bosses, it cuts off the pipeline of Human Resources available to yaks to refill their ranks.

I’m not sure this will be as effective in response to overseas organized crime gangs….

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Time for the Yakuza to throw in the towel and get a real job, pay taxes and contribute to society at large. Especially the midget Yakuza that lives across the road from me!!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I have yet to hear any convincing argument against simply arresting members of known organised crime syndicates.

"Are you a member of a yakuza gang?"

"Yes"

"Right, off you go, then".

7 ( +7 / -0 )

This not only decreases the power and scope of yak bosses, it cuts off the pipeline of Human Resources available to yaks to refill their ranks.

But its rarely yakuza bosses who get arrested and oppressed, its usually an ordinary low ranking yakusa, no? Its them who feel discomfort. As for bosses, i have my suspicions strong that they are very well connected with political/bussiness circles and usually not discomforted by any mishaps...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

What happed to the ASF list? Are Yakuza members not required to register at the National Police Agency anymore? Maybe they stopped this, to push down the 'official' number of Yakuza members. Stop reporting the numbers, and pretend it is going down. Works every time!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I’m not so sure, if pressing them into the corner more and more is a sustainable solution. We can already observe quite some increasing crime rates, violence and attacks from people who feel somehow pressed into the corner, for example those killer attempts on politicians. And again, those are not even yakuza members and were still eligible for visiting baseball games or doing a normal job and lifestyle. I just only mean, you might have learned it in physics lessons, that every pressure produces a correlated anti-pressure into the other direction too.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

From Yakuza nothing good! prostitution,drugs,scamm, gambling bussines etc etc ! is time to clean up japan from this people! untill no one is around anymore

3 ( +3 / -0 )

beats nailing the Yakuza for crimes I guess.

but it's true tghat they're bad boys, I mean you wouldn't catch any government members, local politicians, city hall officials, Japan Inc executives, police, teachers, and etc (all the pillars of society in other words) doing anything bad and/or illegal....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's funny how some people tend to glorify mafia guys (Yakuza, la Cosa Nostra, etc.) when in reality, they're just a bunch of streets thug losers wearing nice suits. Or in the case of the Yakuza, generally NOT wearing nice suits.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

78 years old man? What is it to do with yakuza at that age? It is unbelievable that someone at that age would be arrested for cloudy reasons. If yakuza is illegal group, just eliminate it. If it’s a legal group, why are the restrictions for?

yakuza seems to japanese mystery organisation with unknown status on legality.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The car driver will only be able to count up to nine soon.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How do they know? Are the police counting fingers at the stadium gates now?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Come to the USA and enjoy the freedom. You may even get some movie rights. Sad I know…

0 ( +1 / -1 )

gaijintravellerApr. 30  09:57 am JST

How about doing the same for concerts and concert tickets? When big name bands come to Japan, the seats are often all sold out in seconds. It is virtually impossible to get arena seats.

It's the same way in the US for concerts and sporting events. I remember being at a U2 concert in California and the cops busted the ticket scalpers. Now they don't even bother. They're out openly in the flesh and they scalp online and get away with it. And criminal or mafia gangs have nothing to do with it, but it's a CRIME nonetheless.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They're out openly in the flesh and they scalp online and get away with it. And criminal or mafia gangs have nothing to do with it, but it's a CRIME nonetheless.

I don't think it's a crime - it's just people taking advantage of inefficient markets. Promotors should use different methods to sell tickets that take the profit out of scalpers' hands and put it in the artists'/promotors' hands. There are ways to do this. And it's better than criminalizing yet more people.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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