Japan's biggest organised crime syndicate has launched its own website, complete with a corporate song and a strong anti-drugs message, as the yakuza looks to turn around its outdated image and falling membership.
The clunky-sounding Banish Drugs and Purify the Nation League website is an offering from the Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan's largest yakuza grouping.
It includes shaky footage of members making their new year pilgrimage to a shrine. The soundtrack is a traditional folk-style song with lyrics extolling the virtues of the "Ninkyo" spirit - an ideal of masculinity that battles injustice and helps the weak.
"Nothing but Ninkyo, that is the man's way of life," say the lyrics. "The way of duty and compassion, bearing the ordeal for our dream."
Another video shows men with crew cuts pounding sticky rice for a new year festival, and there are galleries of pictures showcasing the cleanup work members did in the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami and the 1996 Kobe earthquake.
The website is not the Yamaguchi-gumi's first foray into media - the crime syndicate last year began publishing a magazine for its members that includes a poetry page, senior gangsters' fishing diaries and a message from the boss.
Fukuoka prefectural police continued cracking down on the Kudo-kai crime syndicate with the rearrests Oct. 1 of its two top leaders along with the arrests of seven other members in connection with the stabbing of a nurse. (Asahi)
Of a total of 110 active volcanoes in the nation, the Japan Meteorological Agency's Coordinating Committee for Predictions of Volcanic Eruption identified 47 volcanoes in June 2009 that have the possibility of eruption within about a century and therefore need stronger surveillance and supervision. (The Japan News)
Police in Tokyo said Saturday they have arrested a 24-year-old clerk at the Tokyo District Court and a 39-year-old employee of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ on suspicion of molesting a woman in her 20s on the subway. (Japan Today)