Yakuza exclusion ordinances or Organized Crime Exclusion Ordinances(暴力団排除条例) is the collective term of ordinances that aims to cut citizen-yakuza relationship. The concept is “The yakuza versus society”, shifting from “The yakuza versus the police”. The ordinances prohibit citizens from making or keeping relationship with the yakuza. The targeted acts and treatment for the violators are differ from prefectures. Some prefectures only set obligation of endeavor to citizens, or revelation of the violated companies as penalty. But others impose imprisonment or fine to citizens. Among the prefectures, Fukuoka leads the way to toughen the regulations.
Fukuoka is the first prefecture which came into force the comprehensive ordinance on April 10, 20101. Since the ordinances of Okinawa and Tokyo were in effect on October 10, 2011, all of Japanese prefectures have had the ordinance2.
The ordinances pursue cutting implicit relationship between citizens and the yakuza. Some of the prohibitions contain punishment against citizens. But a few definitions and its range are blur. Especially what acts should be regarded as “payoff that assists the yakuza’s activity or operation”, and “close association with the yakuza” remains arbitrary for the authorities.
There are criticisms on violation of freedom of expression and yakuza’s human rightsJoint Statement Seeking Abolition Of “Organized Crime Exclusion Ordinances” And Protesting Against Revision To Anti-Boryokudan Law http://www.bouhai-hantai.com/joint-statement.
Prohibition of payoff(Article 24-1) :
This clause prohibits business operators from giving property benefits to the yakuza and the associates as payback for illegal demanding acts or illegal acts which benefit the business operator itself.
For example, such acts are the cases when a business owner asks for the yakuza to intimidate a rival company; or to obstruct a local residents’ campaign.
Anti-boryokudan law also covers business owner’s requests for illegal demanding acts. But the clause can cover the scenarios when the request is hard to be pointed out, and when a business owner pays money after knowing the illegal acts conducted by the yakuza.
The police reveals the company’s name if the company violate the clause again after it receives first warning from the public safety commission.
If the company violates the clause once again within a year after revelation of the name, the public safety commission makes the order to stop the acts. If the company still doesn’t obey the order, The authority can impose the imprisonment of not more than a year, or a fine of not more than 500,000 yen.
Prohibition of payoff that assists the yakuza’s activity or operation(Article 24-3):
The clause prohibits business operators from giving property benefits to the yakuza which assists the yakuza’s activity or operation, knowing they are the yakuza.
The clause has wider scope than “Prohibition of Payoff”(Article 24-1). It doesn’t limit the case of giving benefit to the yakuza for the owner’s business, but mere dealing, delivery, and contract. For example, many of daily transactions —lending room for a convention, delivering pizzas, repairing a office— could be the case if they are regarded as assisting the yakuza’s activity or operation.
Providing lifelines such as electricity, water, and gas is permitted by the exceptional clause on article 24-3.
There is no criminal code for violators. The only penalty is revelation of a violating company. It is executed if the company doesn’t follow warning again within a year after receiving the first warning from the public safety commission.
Close contact with the yakuza:
There is no prohibition for close contact with the yakuza. However when a person participates in a party which the yakuza sponsor, this act could be regarded as “assist of the yakuza’s activity or operation” which prohibited on Article 24-3. And also, when a business owner repeatedly plays golf or eat with the yakuza, the owner could be excluded from public projects, which is defined on Article 9.
Exclusion from private-sector businesses (Article 18):
The clause declares the obligation of endeavor for citizens. When a company make a contract with a customer, the company is encouraged to add a term to confirm that the contractor is not a yakuza. The term could be a reason to break out of the contract after coming out to be that he is a yakuza. Rather, it makes easier to claim for indemnity against the yakuza.
Exclusion from public projects (Article 7):
Exclusion from real-estate deal (Article 19):
The clause aims to prevent the yakuza from opening a new office in the whole area of Tokyo.
Fukuoka as a spearhead of the movement:
Designated yakuza group in Kyushu area:
Criticism and protest movement:
Vagueness and arbitrariness of definition by the police:
Concern about devastate Japanese tradition:
Especially Japanese traditional festivals and entertainment industries such as Sumo, Kabuki, Enka have developed along with outsiders from their early days.
Extension of the power of police to civil life:
Effect and the skeptic:
Citizens confront with two paths to decision when they are extorted by Yakuza –obey or refuse.
- http://www.police.pref.fukuoka.jp/boutai/sotai/012.html ↩
- https://www.nhk.or.jp/kaisetsu-blog/100/97004.html ↩
- 東京都暴排条例 http://www.keishicho.metro.tokyo.jp/sotai/image/jourei.pdf ↩
- 「東京都暴力団排除条例」Ｑ＆Ａhttp://www.keishicho.metro.tokyo.jp/sotai/haijo_q_a.html ↩
- Ōi, T., Kurokawa, K., & Esupī nettowāku. (2011). Bōryokudan haijo jōrei gaidobukku. Tōkyō: Rekushisunekushisujapan. ↩