The organized crime has been in existence for many centuries. The growth of economies offered a suitable foundation for the exploitation and development of these criminal gangs (Mallory, 2011). The Yakuza is the most noticeable criminal gang found in Japan. As an organized crime, the group participates in the same money-making activities as all criminal gangs in Asia and other parts of the world. Recent reports revealed that illegal gambling and prostitution were the groups major hallmarks, in addition to the engagement in the smuggling activities which include involvement in banned goods such as the drugs, firearms, and pornography. The group has also been termed as operating in legal businesses using the profit ploughed from the illegal ones. The legal activities, in this case, include the real estate, construction, and entertainment. Yakuza operates considerably openly in Japan. In this way, the group controls the nations pornography shops, pachinko halls, gambling parlors and the prostitution centers (Mallory, 2011). In this sense, therefore, Yakuza qualifies to be an actual mafia because of its initiatives to protect the consumers denied the access to protection from the state or who need a particular type of protection that the state is not ready to offer. The most unfortunate thing regarding the protected consumers or agencies is that they can avoid tax payment, fire, and safety regulations as well as hire illegal immigrants.
Although the gang has been described as an organized criminal group whose activities resemble those of other organized crimes in different parts of the world, Yakuza considerably differs from other crime groups. Firstly, the group has huge links with the trade unions such as the longshoreman, and construction companies, which gives politicians kickbacks and other businesses involved with waste management. Ideally, few or no organized crime across the world is known for this activity and therefore makes Yakuza distinct. Secondly, Yakuza have been involved in the illicit importation of the ozone-depleting CFCs products, in addition to making the high amount of profits through the manufacture of counterfeit phones and pachinko cards.
The most evident characteristic of the organization is even the fact that Yakuza does not recognize theft as its legitimate activity (Kaplan & Dubro, 2012). It means that the gang knows that the kind and nature of the activities they are engaging in are illegal. It is in conjunction with the notion that their operations are partially-open and theft by definition would be a covert operation and would, therefore, be considered an intrusion in the society. To excel in their operation, Kaplan & Dubro (2012) revealed that the gang does not always conduct the actual business operation by themselves. It means that core businesses such as the merchandising, loan sharking as well as gambling house are carried out by individuals who are not members but pay protection fees for such activities.
Despite their criminal activities, the gang perceives itself as ninkyo dantai, which means a chivalrous organization. Although their methods have been subjected to many questions, they have been involved in many charitable acts such as giving donations and delivering supplies to the victims of natural calamities such as Tsunami and Earthquakes (Kaplan & Dubro, 2012). The organized crime has further shifted its operations towards the white-collar crime and depending more on the bribery instead of violence. The group has therefore been regarded as one of the least torturous criminal organizations on the globe (Mallory, 2011). Fascinatingly, these activities have linked the police and Yakuza in Japan a sophisticated one. Its membership is not illegal because their operations and headquarters are well located and known. These features undeniably differentiate it from other well-known organized crimes and mafia across the world.
Kaplan, D. E., & Dubro, A. (2012). Yakuza: Japan's criminal underworld. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Mallory, S. L. (2011). Understanding organized crime. Jones & Bartlett Publishers
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