報道しない自由

untitled-article-1416356734-body-image-1416356915The above picture may be worth more than $1 billion in Japan. At the very least, it’s worth a severe beating by gangsters armed with baseball bats.
In September, the right-wing scandal sheet Keiten Shimbun obtained the photo of Hidetoshi Tanaka (left), the chief director of Japan University and the vice chairman of Japan’s Olympic Committee. Sitting next to Tanaka is Shinobu Tsukasa, the head of Japan’s largest yakuza [organized crime] syndicate, the Yamaguchi-gumi. (Note his left hand.)
The photo, which police believe was taken in early 2005, was anonymously sent to several media outlets including Keiten Shimbun; one magazine received a note with the photos that read: “I am an employee of Japan University, where many are in conflict with chief director Tanaka. Six or eight years ago, when Tanaka was elected as the chief director of the board, he went to a club in Nagoya and celebrated his promotion with the head of the Yamaguchi-gumi and many other Yamaguchi-gumi… members. He has shown us these photos over the years to intimidate us into silence. Please investigate.”
Japan’s biggest organized crime syndicate now has its own website and theme song. Read more here.
Yakuza is the umbrella term for Japan’s 21 organized crime groups, which boast an estimated 60,000 members. They exist as semi-legal entities in Japan with offices, business cards, and even fan magazines, and make their money principally from racketeering, loan sharking, fraud, extortion, stock market manipulation — and construction.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are predicted to cost at least $5 billion. That means there’s a lot of money to be made in construction.
According to police and other sources, a reporter for Keiten Shimbun attempted to seek clarification from Japan University and Tanaka about when the photo was taken and what Tanaka’s current relationship, if any, is to the Yamaguchi-gumi. On the night of September 30, as the reporter was walking back to the newspaper office, he was assaulted by two men with metal baseball bats who struck him repeatedly in one place on his body. A police source said they will not specify the location of the injury “because it’s something only the assailant would know, and we wish to weed out possible false confessions.”
The day after the assault, almost every major media organization in Japan received threatening phone calls from people telling them not to publish the photo. One magazine editor, who spoke to VICE News on the condition of anonymity, said the threat was, “‘We attacked Keiten Shimbun. If you get uppity and publish that photo of those two, you’ll meet the same fate.'”
More than a month later, the photo remained unpublished. (VICE News is the first outlet to publish the photo.) However, Keiten Shimbun did publish another photo of Tanaka toward the end of October. In that photo (below), from sometime in 2004, Tanaka is pictured with another senior member of the Yamaguchi-gumi named Iwao Yamamoto, who was once close to Tsukasa. Yamamoto shot himself in front of the grave of his predecessor in December 2010.
Follow Jake Adelstein on Twitter: @jakeadelstein 参照記事 参照記事

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