CHAPTER 8

Japan (i.e., Yakuza)

The predominant organized crime group in Japan is the yamaguchi-gumi, commonly known as the yakuza. It has been described as a highly centralized and structured organization, resembling legitimate businesses with its hierarchy. In fact, the Japanese government’s approach to the yakuza is to regulate it and not ban it outright. It operates in the open, and membership in the organization is not inherently illegal (Matsangou 2017). Thus, the yakuza is to the Italian mafia what cigarettes are to hashish (as evaluated under the U.S. norms and law).

Moreover, interpreting the yakuza as a single organization would be misleading. Instead, it is comprised of many smaller organized crime groups and gangs whose actions are ...

Get The Gig Mafia now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.