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Yamaguchi-gumi Group cancels Halloween!

Japan’s biggest crime syndicate, The Yamaguchi-Gumi Group, tweeted to announce that Halloween is cancelled this year. The group from the western city of Kobe traditionally holds a variety of community events and have previously invited neighborhood children to Halloween parties, where they hand large out bags of candy. However, a notice posted on their office gate explained that they would be pulling the plug on this year’s trick-or-treating, the Sankei newspaper reported, without clarifying why. The notice on the gate read as follows:

“The Halloween event that has taken place annually on October 31 will be canceled this year due to various reasons,” the notice read. “We regret disappointing parents and children looking forward to the event, but we promise to resume it next year.”

A recent high-profile split of the powerful Yamaguchi-gumi is suspected to be behind the cancellation, with mobsters fearing that a gang conflict could put children and guests at risk. Accodring to police the Yamaguchi-gumi was rocked by internal strife following the defection of several top leaders who formed their own splinter group. It was on August 27, 2015 that Japanese police confirmed that powerful factions, including Kobe-based Yamaken-gumi, Osaka-based Takumi-gumi, and Kyoyu-kai, broke away from Yamaguchi-gumi and forming new group called Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi. Prior to the split, the organisation consisted of seventy-two factions. This was the first major split since the forming of Ichiwa-Kai more than thirty years ago. The split prompted police warnings of a possible repeat of gangland bloodbaths similar to those in 1980. Which prompted poloce response with a series of raids and arrests made since then.

Like the Italian Mafia and Chinese triads, the yakuza engage in everything from gambling, drugs and prostitution to loan sharking, protection rackets and white-collar crime. But unlike their foreign counterparts, they are not illegal and each of the designated groups have their own headquarters. The Yamaguchi-gumi are Japan's largest yakuza, with 23,000 members and associates.  It is named after its founder Harukichi Yamaguchi. Its origins can be traced back to a loose labor union for dockworkers in Kobe before World War II. Events like this are held in the spirit of celebration and not with any malicious intent or criminal wrong doings in mind.

Photos: Mjyouka 

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