Tuesday, September 8, 2020

A slow getaway: Japan's geriatric Yakuza

The Yamaguchi-gumi syndicate is led by 78-year-old Shinobu Tsukasa51.2% of regular yakuza members are aged 50 or over, a sharp increase as a result of demographics and legal crackdowns.

Yakuza attempts to recruit young men with promises of easy money is failing. Instead, new recruits face decades of risk-taking on behalf of their bosses and long prison sentences if they get caught – all without prospect of a pension.
The yakuza are becoming irrelevant in Japanese society.
Stricter laws have made a life of crime unappealing: yakuza are forbidden from opening bank accounts, obtaining a credit card, taking out insurance policies or even signing a contract for a mobile phone. The ageing of criminals in Japan has coincided with a steady decline in membership. At its peak in the 1960s, the yakuza had more than 180,000 members. Today, just 14,400 are registered mobsters – along with 13,800 associates.