• Kyodo


The head of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi gangster group was served a fresh arrest warrant Friday in connection with a scuffle at the office of a different yakuza group in Kyoto in January.

Kunio Inoue, 68, heads the breakaway group of yakuza formed in 2015 by defectors from Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s most powerful underworld group. He was previously arrested on suspicion of fraud for a mobile phone that was purchased under someone else’s name on June 6.

On Friday, Kobe District Public Prosecutor’s Office moved Inoue from a police station in Hyogo Prefecture, where he had been questioned over the fraud allegation, to the Kyoto Prefectural Police via a police car, without concluding the fraud case.

The Kyoto Prefectural Police meanwhile said five other yakuza, including Mitsugu Baba, 76, leader of Aizu Kotetsu-kai, a gang based in Kyoto, had been arrested.

Investigators said Inoue is suspected of ordering members of his group to incite violence against Aizu Kotetsu-kai on Jan. 11.

Infighting has been rife in Aizu Kotetsu-kai over its leadership since Baba announced his impending retirement. The group is effectively split over who should succeed Baba, with members close to Yamaguchi-gumi and Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi coming up with their own candidates.

Police are also investigating an incident last week in which a car carrying leading members of a gang under the wing of Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi was shot up in Higashiosaka, Osaka Prefecture.

Although a bullet was found in the rear of the vehicle, no one was hurt in the incident, which took place on June 8, the police said Thursday. The police believe someone shot it from behind while it was on the road.

The car was carrying four people, including members of the gang related to Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi. They were heading to a meeting in Awaji, Hyogo Prefecture.

The incident occurred amid infighting between Yamaguchi-gumi and Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi. Dissidents from the latter produced a second escalation in April.

None of the four called police after the shooting, but the Osaka Prefectural Police received a tip the next day and seized the vehicle, they said.

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