• Kyodo


A leader of a splinter group of Japan’s largest crime syndicate was arrested Tuesday for allegedly shooting a member of the parent group amid a gang feud in Kobe in August, police said.

Hiroji Nakata is suspected of shooting a 51-year-old man affiliated with the Yamaguchi-gumi on Aug. 21 in Chuo Ward, leaving him with serious injuries.

The police did not reveal whether Nakata, 60, has admitted the alleged attempted murder.

Police say Nakata rode up to the group’s office on a moped and allegedly shot the man in a parked vehicle. Nakata is thought to be the gunman despite his high rank in the syndicate.

Police are on high alert because the feud between the Yamaguchi-gumi and the splinter group, Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, appears to be escalating.

A member of the faction was stabbed and seriously injured in Kobe in April, resulting in arrests of two members of the Yamaguchi-gumi.

In October, two members of the splinter group were fatally shot in the ongoing feud. A senior member of Yamaguchi-gumi was also shot dead last week in the nearby city of Amagasaki in Hyogo Prefecture.

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