A split in Japan’s largest Yakuza syndicate has caused a rapid increase in gang warfare across the island nation.
Ten of Japan’s 47 prefectures have been hit by the increasing criminal tensions, reports RT.
Since March 21 a staggering 17 fights between gang members have been registered with police, said Taro Kono, chairman of the National Public Safety Commission.
The situation is exceptionally serious.
As yet there have been no reports of regular citizens being caught in the crossfire but concern is mounting.
On Monday a major incident was reported in Tokyo’s Adachi district which saw 20 Yakuza fighters take part in a bloody battle, but when police arrived even the injured had successfully fled the scene.
The split in the Yamaguchi-gumi Yakuza syndicate in 2015 saw their numbers decrease from 23,400 to 14,100, with a reported 6,100 members forming the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi which is now present in 36 of the 47 regions.
It is believed these crime syndicates have links to a wide variety of activities including arms dealing, drugs, prostitution, gambling, construction, financial fraud, and ultra-nationalism, but under the guise of private businesses they are difficult to monitor.