Japanese mafia launches first website to encourage new members

3 Apr 2014

Tokyo image via Wikimedia Commons

One of the most secretive and dangerous crime organisations in the world, the yakuza in Japan, appears to have taken the rather unprecedented step of launching a website to encourage new membership.

The Yamaguchi-gumi, a branch of the yakuza, is one of the largest organisations of its kind in the world, with member numbers estimated at just over 100,000, but now the group is reportedly looking to increase the air of legitimacy and public relations by launching its first website, with a message of drug eradication in Japan.

An AFP report covering the launch of the website says it is for the ‘Banish Drugs and Purify the Nation League’ and the site shows a highlight reel of Japanese new year’s celebrations with members and traditional Japanese music.

However, despite being a gang involved in organised crime, the Japanese authorities often turn a blind eye to its activates and remains a legal organisation.

Aside from trying to portray a positive image of the group, the Yamaguchi-gumi is also looking to try and recruit more members as their illegal activities, which include prostitution, have not been well-received by the Japanese public.

The outdated-looking website has been gaining attention across the island nation, but the Japanese police have yet to confirm the website was created by the Yamaguchi-gumi.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic