TIME Asia

Japan’s Biggest Crime Syndicate Has Its Own Website

In an effort to recruit new members and regain some mystique, the Yamaguchi-gumi has launched a website that shows just how neighborly it is—and there's a catchy tune to be enjoyed as well

The biggest organized crime syndicate in Japan has launched its own website and theme song, says yakuza expert Jake Adelstein in a VICE News report.

The group, the Yamaguchi-gumi, is seeking to rebrand the yakuza syndicates, which are famed and feared for their involvement in activities ranging from sex trafficking and murder to white-collar crime.

In recent years, their mystique has waned and membership has shrunk following a crackdown by the police. The Yamaguchi-gumi is now looking to counter these trends.

The website seeks to convince people that the yakuza are not an “anti-social force.” Throughout the site, there are pictures and descriptions of members visiting shrines, having fun with their neighbors and providing emergency relief after the tsunami in 2011.

The site, which says it is the online home of the “Banish Drugs and Purify the Nation League,” looks decidedly old-school. It has a strong anti-drug message and features this stirring song.

[VICE News]

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