Two executives of Japan’s Professional Golfers Association (PGA) have recently been named in a scandal linking them with the yakuza, the Japanese organized crime syndicate. As a result, the leadership of the PGA has revealed that they will resign en masse after the two members were revealed to have played golf and socialized with one of the Japanese underworld’s known bosses, this according to a report on Wednesday.
The PGA’s policy board reached this decision to have a mass resignation on Wednesday. Elections for the new leadership will be done in January. The mass resignation will include all 91 PGA representatives, including current chairman Shizuo Mori, four vice-chairmen and some 20 board directors, as the association tries to restore public trust in the body. The incident in question happened between March and June this year, when then-PGA vice chairman Shinsaku Maeda, and then-board director Tadayoshi Bando, played a round of golf and dined with a known boss of a yakuza organized crime group in the southern island of Kyushu. Part of PGA regulations is a stipulation that prohibits representatives of the organization from socializing with members of organized crime syndicates. Maeda and Bando were expelled forthwith from the association in October because of this incident.
“We take the matter very seriously. We want to do our utmost to prevent a recurrence of such a case,” the PGA current vice chairman Nobuyuki Abe. The Japanese PGA oversees the country’s professional golf activities, including the licensing of golfers and development of junior players. The yakuza’s influence in Japanese society has been long known and is as rampant as it is nearly all-encompassing. From the government, to business, and even sports, it seems like Japanese organized crime had no limits in the breadth of its reach and influence. But the past years saw both the government and private sector try to distance itself from syndicates and those individuals or organizations that are proven to have dealings with them receive consequences, as in the recent case of the Mizuho Financial Group.
[via Channel News Asia]