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its own website, complete with a corporate song and a strong anti-drugs message, as the yakuza looks to turn around its outdated image and falling membership.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.
Nagano Prefectural Police announced on Wednesday that a member of a newly formed organized crime group who had been shot at a hot springs resort in Iida City has died, reports TV Asahi (Oct. 7). (Tokyo Reporter)
Eight students in Osaka Prefecture suffered broken bones during a three-year period at a public junior high school while practicing or performing kumitaiso, the gymnastic formation known as a human pyramid. (Japan Times)
Satoshi Omura, a distinguished professor emeritus of Kitasato University, has won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with William Campbell for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites, Sweden's Karolinska Institute announced Monday. (The Japan News)
Niigata Prefectural Police on Tuesday raided headquarters of the troubled Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group as a part of an investigation into a baseball gambling case, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Oct. 6). (Tokyo Reporter)
Police arrested a former maintenance worker for Schindler Elevator KK on Saturday on suspicion of deliberately stopping one of the company's elevators near Tokyo and obstructing the company's business. (Japan Today)
A strong low-pressure storm with heavy winds and rains hit Japan from Thursday night to Friday, causing injuries, transportation disruptions, evacuations, blackouts and school closures mainly in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido. (Japan Today)