According to reports from Japan’s National Police Agency the Japanese Mafia known as the Yakuza continues to be on the decline. Anti-organized crime laws put into place back in 1992 began a decline in new members joining the Yakuza but the crime syndicates number of active members remained somewhat stable at approximately 80,000 members and associates. That started to change in 2011 when the number of active members dwindled down to approximately 70,000 members in 2012. Recent reports claim the decline continues and in 2013 the total number of active members and associates of the crime group were down to an all time low of just over 58,000. The NPA says that because of tougher anti-Yakuza laws and recent economic crises being a gangster in Japan is not as attractive as in years past.
In Japan even with new anti-mafia laws in place the organized crime syndicate is not outlawed allowing it to operate out in the open unlike other crime groups. This open style of operating also allows law enforcement to keep better track of their criminal operations and with new laws driving out thousands of members perhaps that is now changing. As law enforcement in Japan ramps up its attack on organized crime and the Japanese society in general has soured on the practices of the Yakuza the group has decided to follow their counter parts into the shadows.
Membership into the legendary crime syndicate are dwindling and there plenty reports of thousand of its members retiring and even gangs being dismantled but that in no way means the Yakuza are on the way out. Many believe that the numbers being reported may not be all that drastic because many of the groups members have simply gone underground so they are no longer being officially recorded. Even if the membership levels have declined over the last several years don’t be fooled the mafia organization still has tremendous power says law enforcement sources.
The Yakuza’s biggest crime group the Yamaguchi-gumi still has a reported 25,700 active members as of last year making it an enormous crime group with in itself. The second largest group and Yamaguchi-gumi rivals the Sumiyoshi-kai still have a approximately 9,500 active members. Anytime an organized crime group has a membership group of that size willing to do its bidding and run its illegal activities it will maintain a powerful grip.