The government will continue calling on the private sector to cut all ties with “sokaiya” corporate extortionists, the Cabinet agreed Tuesday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Kanezo Muraoka said the government has so far called on 194 business organizations to make firm resolutions to break their ties with the racketeers and to issue an announcement saying they will not provide sokaiya with any more benefits.

Each firm affiliated with the organizations was advised to create an in-house body to take measures to cut sokaiya ties, Muraoka said. “But what is more important is that heads of corporations raise their awareness on the issue,” Muraoka told a regular news conference.

To help firms sever ties with racketeers, each prefectural police department has set up a task force to this end, Muraoka said. Police plan to increase their sokaiya crackdown by regularly mobilizing 10,000 officers, up from the current 2,500, Muraoka said.

As part of efforts to root out sokaiya-related problems, the government earlier this month submitted bills to the Diet to revise the Commercial Code, the Banking Law and the Securities and Exchange Law to impose heavier penalties on sokaiya and companies found to be dealing with them. The government launched the measures last summer amid a series of payoff scandals involving major financial institutions and leading firms of other industries.

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