This is not the news Japan needs right now. Japanese police are gearing up for upcoming clashes as the head of the country’s most powerful crime syndicate, the Yamaguchi-gumi, has been released from prison after six years. Kenichi Shinoda, 69, left Fuchu prison Saturday in a brown leather fedora and dark sunglasses and was taken to the western port city of Kobe, the headquarters of the Yamaguchi-gumi. As head of the crime syndicate, Shindoa expanded their reach overseas from beyond its tradition base in western Japan, and the number of Yamaguchi-gumi has grown to 35,000, which accounts for about 44 percent of Japanese mafia. Shinoda’s second-in-command, Kiyoshi Takayam, was arrested in November as part of the police crackdown against the group.
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