The number of people belonging to yakuza groups in Japan has declined to its lowest level since the anti-organized crime law took effect in 1992, a national police survey showed Thursday.
The survey, carried out by the National Police Agency, revealed that there were approximately 58,600 crime group members operating in Japan as of the end of 2013, down about 4,600 from a year earlier. These numbers continue a downward trend which may be the result of a strengthened police crackdown and measures taken by the government to limit crime syndicates’ means of financing.
Nevertheless, the survey revealed a notable increase in organized crimes in the western prefecture of Hiroshima. Of 23 cases of armed attacks by crime syndicates on corporations in Japan, 16 occurred in Hiroshima last year, the agency said. Police records showed no attacks on companies had occurred in 2011 and 2012.
Investigations of cases in Hiroshima Prefecture involving yakuza members suggest they are stepping up activities in commercial areas, an agency official said.
Police also investigated 27 cases related to rivalries between yakuza groups in 2013, none of which resulted in death or injury to civilians, the survey said.
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