1 in 5 firms hit up by extortionists pay

Kyodo

Nearly 1 in 5 companies that faced intimidating demands for favors or some sort of payment by yakuza in the past five years complied with such requests, according to a survey by the National Police Agency released Thursday.

The agency said its July survey of 2,885 businesses found that 18.4 percent of respondents were unable to refuse extortionist demands, compared with 21.8 percent in the previous poll in 2010.

The survey found that 337 businesses received unreasonable demands from underworld syndicates or other “antisocial” organizations, and 62 of them accepted the demands, according to the NPA.

Of those 62 firms, 49 said they paid less than ¥1 million, and five paid ¥5 million or more.

Businesses received demands for cash or discounts from gangsters making complaints about their products or services, as well as requests to buy products, sign leases or make donations, the NPA said.