Despite dealing with the cutthroat battle for businesses and territory regularly, you’d think Yakuza bosses balance things out by enjoying the finer things in life, such as expensive meals and cutting-edge electronics. But did you know that they are not allowed to use smartphones?
Yakuza bosses in Japan are not permitted to purchase smartphones and must rely on old 3G flip phones.
Why are Yakuza Bosses Not Allowed to Used Smartphones?
When it comes to smartphones, many of the top brass in these organizations cannot upgrade from their old flip phones, known in Japan as garakei or feature phones. This is becoming a more pressing issue as the big three telecom companies, Au, SoftBank, and DoCoMo, prepare for or have already discontinued 3G service.
Even fans of these older styles of mobile phones for their simplicity and dependability can get newer versions with 4G capability, but older yakuza are still out of luck. Because they have been unable to sign a contract since 2011,
Even fans of these older styles of mobile phones for their simplicity and dependability can get newer versions with 4G capability. However, more senior Yakuza are still out of luck because they have been unable to sign a contract since 2011.
That’s when prefectural governments passed Organized Crime Exclusion Ordinances or Boryokudan Haijo Jorei, prohibiting businesses from doing business with Yakuza members. Since then, mobile phone service providers’ contracts have required signees to swear that they are not members of such organizations to avoid liability if a customer turns out to be a mobster.
It may appear strange that these people are above simply lying on the contract, but they have a good reason not to. High-ranking members, in particular, are being closely scrutinized by the police, who are looking for any reason to arrest them. With a clear contract fraud case, the authorities can more thoroughly investigate their business. Another option is to have someone else make the contract, which constitutes fraud and results in the same outcomes. (Source: Sora News 24)
Can’t the Yakuza Bosses Just Use Dummy Persons to Purchase Smartphones?
Kunio Inoue, the head of the Kobe Yamaguchi-Gumi, was arrested for fraud in 2017 after he and a female accomplice conspired to obtain a new phone. The charges were minor, but they allowed the Hyogo Prefectural Police to search the group’s headquarters and question other members.
In 2020, the Hokkaido Prefectural Police arrested a 46-year-old yakuza member for fraud after signing a mobile contract in 2018 with a clause stating that he was not a group member. Although unrelated to smartphones, a similar incident occurred in 2019 when a member was arrested for signing a similar contract to get a part-time job at a post office.
As a result, yakuza members are likelier to stick to contracts they signed in 2011 and will ride them out as long as possible. That’s why you’ll rarely if ever, see an older yakuza member with a smartphone, though younger members may be able to get one if they made contracts recently before joining their respective groups. (Source: Sora News 24)
Image from Dailystar.Uk