With the passing of nationwide legislation in October that prohibits ordinary citizens from having business dealings with criminal organizations, Sapio (Nov. 16) offers tips on what is acceptable and what is prohibited.
For assistance, the weekly magazine has turned to lawyer Hideyuki Takashima for some insights on such queries as: If one unknowingly engages in a contractual agreement with gang members, is that a violation of the law? If gangsters purchase certain items and one offers similar items to regular customers, is that a violation? How far can one take “associating” with criminal organizations before there is a violation?
To summarize, a problem will typically arise when one knowingly assists in promoting the businesses of gangsters.
In the operation of an izakaya, Takashima says that if a few gang members arrive to eat and drink at the counter or at tables with other customers, it is probably allowable. “However, if group, numbering a few dozen, turn up to use a private room, there might be a problem since it looks like a formal meeting,” the lawyer says. “The boundary line is whether one is fostering their activities.”
The size of the purchase is the key for the delivery of bento boxes, pizzas, and supermarket and convenience store orders. “If it is a personal purchase and does not appear to be an official catering order, it is acceptable,” the lawyer says.
For printing, markings denoting a yakuza organization or title on greeting cards or business cards are not allowable. “The printing of a gang name or title is promoting their activities,” Takashima explains. “Personal cards and private orders are probably acceptable.”
Hoteliers need to take every effort to confirm the identity of anyone using the hotel facilities, Takashima advises. “If they don’t know gangsters are behind a request to rent a room, or find out later, they are probably safe,” he says. “Whether or not a hotelier decides to cancel a party or banquet arrangement after learning that gang members are involved is a matter that is up to the discretion of the staff members.”