A high-ranking member of a local yakuza group has been arrested for allegedly sending workers to the Fukushima clean-up site without a license. A government license is required for anyone acting as an employment agent.
40 year old Yoshinori Arai, a senior member of a local yakuza group with links to the Sumiyoshi-kai crime syndicate, was being questioned for allegedly sending three men to work in clean-up crews in the Fukushima nuclear power plant last November. He is also suspected of sending workers in the construction of temporary housing in the region, a police spokesman said. Arai was going to profit by taking a cut of the workers’ wages, which is higher than usual because of the hazardous nature of their work.
Tomohiko Suzuki, a journalist who worked at Fukushima after the nuclear plant accident in 2011, said that other members of the yakuza are also very much involved in supplying people for clean-up crews. In fact, some of the crime groups have made it a habit of sending debtors to nuclear power plants to work off their debts gained from sky-high rates. The yakuza has long been involved in gambling, drugs, prostitution as well as loan sharking, protection rackets, white-collar crime and business conducted through front companies. They have historically been tolerated by the authorities, but sometimes, police have clamped down on their less savoury activities.
[ via Bangkok Post ]