Yakuza-lending surge feared as fight to ease Japan law looms
News On Japan via sfgate.com -- Aug 08
Toyoki Yoshida recalls the winter day in 2002 when he tried to hang himself with a leather belt after yakuza thugs hounded him for weeks to pay back 500,000 yen ($6,300) in loans.
The belt ripped as his neck strained the noose, saving his life. The loans, with interest rates as high as 5,000 percent annually, were among those Yoshida owed to 96 loan sharks --some with connections to organized crime. Working in the billing department of a Tokyo electronics company, he'd been borrowing from consumer-finance companies to entertain clients and colleagues and fell into a spiral of debt which cost him his job. It ended when lawyers helped Yoshida terminate his contracts through a bankruptcy filing and partial payments.
The Japanese word "choju," meaning longevity, implies, with its kanji, joyous celebration of long life. Intrinsically, it is a joyful thing for people to live long. But if a society has many people who age in solitude, isolated from their families and local communities, it cannot be called choju. It should rather be called "roka shakai," or a society that weakens as it ages. (Yomiuri )
Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito has ended his official visit to Spain after a trip to a Christian pilgrimage site in the northwest. His visit marked the 400th anniversary of relations between the 2 countries. (NHK )
Osaka Prefectural Police on Friday busted a transvestite in bar in Minami Ward for operating illegally. At 11:15 p.m., officers took Anna Ueda, 34, the manager of club Chu-, into custody for violating the Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses after discovering two employees serving one customer alcohol and food. The club did not have a license to provide such services. (Tokyo Reporter)