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No 'East Side Story' musicals for Gen Z foreign delinquents


With the declining number of births, it goes without saying that crimes by juveniles in Japan must inevitably decline, right? Well...not necessarily. According to Spa (April 9-16), the number of foreigners in their teens and early 20s has increased, and some of them have banded together to break the law.

These groups are reportedly composed of Chinese, ethnic Koreans, Brazilians and multinational groups from Southeast Asia.

After a brief tenure with a yakuza gang in Nagoya, Felipe, a thirtyish native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, set down roots in Kawasaki, the city shoehorned between Tokyo and Yokohama. When not working in one of the town's factories, he and his compatriots hang out to smoke joints and occasionally rumble with other groups.

Satoru, in his early 30s, is the son of a Filipino mother and a Japanese father. Raised in the Kamata area of Tokyo, he currently heads a group of Filipinos.

"I joined a yakuza gang in my 20s, but I didn't fit in and quit. Now we subcontract jobs from the yakuza," he tells the magazine. "At present, though, the Chinese are strongest at those kinds of jobs. They've got the financial backing and more manpower."

From 2022, however, Vietnamese passed Chinese as the largest number of foreign residents charged with the crimes. They are said to be adept at harnessing social networks to obtain financing and run such operations as massage parlors, loansharking to compatriots in Japan and underground casinos.

"The massage parlors and 'este' salons pay protection money to the yakuza," says a man identified as Jye.

An ethnic Korean named Kim points out the distinctive class structure of foreign criminals.

"The thriving underworld in Shinjuku's Kabukicho is composed of the children and grandchildren of Chinese and Koreans who forged ties with yakuza in the years after WW2," he says. "They aren't receptive to foreign newcomers."  

Among the scams run by Chinese delinquents are forging of driver's licenses and My Number cards, which they offer for sale via social networks. The forged cards might not be good enough to fool a government official, but can be used to open bank accounts under false names or purchase SIM cards.

A sidebar to the article asks whether or not Kurds -- large numbers of whom have settled in Kawaguchi and Warabi cities in Saitama -- deserve to be included in the equation.

Recent negative posts have been appearing on social networks warning that Kurds are to be avoided. "My wallet got stolen by a group that was loitering outside of convenience store after dark," one poster claimed. "An acquaintance had his smartphone ripped off by a Kurd, who reached through his open car window and grabbed it," wrote another.And a third complained "On weekends I often see Kurds blaring loud music. I take care not to let my kids get near them."

"Most of us Kurds have pending applications for refugee status," countered the employee of a kebab restaurant near Warabi station. "If they're involved in trouble, they'll be deported back to their home country. They take great efforts to avoid being conspicuous, and lead a quiet existence."

"Most of the foreign troublemakers have been raised in housing tracts," Yuuri Suzuki tells Spa. For his research, Suzuki has visited around 10 major public housing developments in Kanagawa, Aichi and Shizuoka prefectures, where foreigners began moving in from the mid-1990s.

"The monthly rents there run between ¥3,000 to ¥10,000," Suzuki says. "They are inconveniently located and have been increasingly abandoned by Japanese."

"Most of the foreigner in the developments who are involved in crime are between their teens and 30s," Suzuki explains. "While they came to Japan while young, or were born here, they don't speak Japanese as their native language. But they attend Japanese schools and their mentality is not that different from Japanese. By the same token, many of them are struggling with poverty and discrimination, and the factors contributing to their delinquency aren't any different from those of Japanese growing up under the same circumstances."

In Suzuki's view, foreign delinquency is a study in Japan's growing social diversity.

© Japan Today

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Yeah, foreigners equal delinquency.

Good luck filling those service jobs.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

Another blatantly racist, nationalist and misogynist statement and article.

garbage on the streets was also always blamed on the foreigners till that was completely rubbished during covid when there were no foreigners ( except the residents) and the streets more dirty then ever.

crime by Japanese teens does not always get reported or gets shelved or dealt with without involving police or city authorities. A foreign teen even looking at a bike can get thrown in jail with the keys lost

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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