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Translation of Extract from 激突! Battle Royale!

Author – Toshiro Igari Kodansha 2010

Book Title: - 激突! Battle Royale! 検察、暴力団、弁護士会 Prosecutors Gangs, Bar Associations タブーの権力と対峙した弁護士の事件簿 Case Files of the Lawyer Who Faced a Taboo Power Author - 猪狩俊郎, Toshiro Igari Amazon http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4334976263/ref=asc_df_4334976263267417/?tag=buzzbooks-goo-22&creative=9303&creativeASIN=4334976263&linkCode=asn&me=AN1VRQENFRJN5

TEXT ON BOOK SLEEVE Is it heresy, or is it bravery? The memoirs of a man who gambles with death! The prosecution’s method for investigating junior parliament member Shokei Arai’s forced suicide… The surprise move that allowed the yakuza group that had taken residence in a baseball stadium to escape eviction… This is the shocking true story that couldn’t be kept secret by the man himself. Excerpt from the book: “Sometime after 2:00pm on February 19, 1998 Mrs. Mariko and her secretary stood at the entrance to room 2338 at the Shinagawa Pacific Hotel. They bowed and entered. There was a bed on the right, and on the left Shizuka Kamei stood with a frown. She didn’t even glance at me. On her left stood Takeo Hiranuma, another parliamentary member and part of Kamei’s group (at the time). What struck me was that he stood there quite expressionless, like he had just seen something horrible. I looked over at the bed. Lying there was Shokei Arai in a white shirt, his eyes closed. His face was a bit darkish-red, and it looked a little puffy. I opened his collar a bit for a look and saw a rope-like line running around his neck. I put my hand on his ankle. There was no pulse. There was no doubt that he was hung to death. In my ten years as prosecutor I’ve often been part of autopsies, so I was sure of it.”

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Translation of Extract from 激突! Battle Royale! Author – Toshiro Igari Kodansha 2010

Attempted Extortion Case concerning Pride As I have mentioned before, gangsters have a code of silence and obedience similar to the Italian Mafia, which has an almost parent – child blood relationship with its members. The rules say, if a parent so orders, you kill and silence whoever is in your way to getting money, and you never confess about it. Uncovering organized crime, which centers on gangs, is extremely difficult. That is why prosecutors should fully investigate cases that have provided clues to crime and quickly build a case. The bottom line is the prosecutor’s office must work hard to bring indictments to cases that the police have been working hard to expose. Considering all the harm gangs cause to Japanese society, from a policy perspective they must prosecute aggressively. However, reality is a little different. The prosecutor’s office is a step above quasi-judicial officials and put evidence before all else, and success at trial is an absolute imperative. There are times that when faced with a yakuza who refuses to talk or who denies something, they will abandon the case on the spot. The prosecuting lawyer, stuck in his office, just doesn’t understand the reality required for effective yakuza crime countermeasures. This is why people are increasingly distrusting the police prosecutor’s offices. There is a difference in understanding of yakuza cases between police actually working in the field and prosecutors. In order to bridge this gap, it is imperative that there is a full effective flow of information between Unit 4 of the Metropolitan Police Organized Crime Control Bureau and the Tokyo Metropolitan Public Safety Bureau the two major bodies which presides over organized crime. From my experience working on many yakuza cases, I raised the nature of these problems to prosecutors as a lawyer and at the same time helped to develop policies to collaborate with prosecutors and police. To begin with, as a result of the case below, I developed a process for exchange information between these bodies and with the Anti-Yakuza Group of the Dai-Ichi Tokyo Bar Association. There was an attempted extortion case where Nobuyuki Sakakibara, president of Dream Stage Entertainment, which holds the rights to promote Pride fights, and Ishizaka (Kim Dok Soo), a top officer in the Yamaguchi Syndicate, blackmailed Miro Mijatovic (known as “Miro”), an Australian lawyer who held the sole rights to manage and promote the famous Russian professional fighter Emelianenko Fedor’s, into handing over those rights. The case itself began with the airing of a New Year Eve’s fight in 2003. There were three companies: TBS, which handles K-1, Fuji Television, which is affiliated with

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Translation of Extract from 激突! Battle Royale! Author – Toshiro Igari Kodansha 2010

Pride, and Nippon Television Network Corporation, which was involved in Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye. All three companies were looking to increase their viewership, and so were fighting to obtain the rights for Fedor’s appearance, who was extremely popular in Japan at the time. Miro signed a contract with Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye, held by event promoter Seiya Kawamata, who worked with Antonio Inoki, for Fedor’s appearance. (Kawamata was Ishii’s right-hand man, and when Ishii was captured by a special task force for tax evasion and prosecuted Kawamata became the new leader of the fight world, and started to branch out.) In response to this, Sakakibara and Ishisaka threatened Kawamata around December 20, 2003 and made him promise that he would not let Fedor appear at Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye event. But Miro, who thought this was outrageous, would not agree to it. Miro did not yield to the yakuza pressure and he ensured that Fedor did in fact appear in Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye. Kawamata, fearing retribution from the Yamaguchi Syndicate, disappeared on January 1, 2004. Sakakibara and Ishisaka, who were furious at Kawamata’s broken promise, held and captured Miro and extorted him to sign a contract that would sign over the management rights to Fedor to Sakakibara’s DSE. They held him three days from January 3 to January 5, threatening him that “There’s going to be trouble if you don’t sign it. You know just how horrifying the Japanese Yakuza can be. You’ll never be able to come back to Japan. You know what will happen to you if you don’t sign.” Miro did not agree to give up his rights to Fedor but was forced to sign a contract for Fedor’s return to Pride. Investigative Information Leaked by the Kanagawa Police Department Miro presented the situation to Shunichi Inoue, a member of the Dai-Ichi Tokyo Bar Association Anti-Yakuza Committee. Inoue was going to take up the case, but realized that due to personal danger he could not take it up alone, so he came to the head of the committee, which was me. Miro came to us in June 2005, a year and a half after the incident. However, I gathered volunteers from the committee and formed a legal team. We tirelessly investigated the incident and drafted a criminal complaint against Sakakibara and Ishizaka and other yakuza. On August 24, 2005 I visited the head of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Organized Crime Control Bureau, Sho Yoneda. At his discretion I talked with Naomasa Yoshida, the head of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Organized Crime Control Department, and filed the complaint. Naturally, we thought that the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department would take over the case.

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Translation of Extract from 激突! Battle Royale! Author – Toshiro Igari Kodansha 2010

Yoshida was working to eliminate the yakuza from the Japanese fight industry. After developing strategy and gathering evidence we would receive various orders from Yoshida. We faithfully and doggedly did everything he asked. But Yoshida seemed troubled as to what police department should handle the case. He decided on Satoshi Yasumori, a man with a promising future and a year older than the career policeman Yoshida. Yasumori was Chief of Criminal Investigations in the Kanagawa Police Department. Yoshida came to me to tell me the news. Yasumori also came to my law office and pleaded, “Let the Kanagawa Police Department lead this case.” Since they had came all the way to my office just to make this request to me, I had no choice; I agreed. However, frankly speaking, I thought it was dangerous at this point to bring the attempted extortion of Miro to trial. The Kanagawa Police Department knew of Miro’s case initially and attempted to prosecute it as attempted extortion, but the Kanagawa Police had been working with Kawamata and wanted to concentrate on Kawamata as having being the victim of extortion. But Kawamata was originally a yakuza member himself, which actually made him and Ishisaka like birds of a feather. This case was getting worse all the time. But since he was head of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Organized Crime Control Department, which was following the overwhelming demands of the promising Yasumori, then I really had no choice. Following these meetings, on December 27, 2005 Mitsuaki Matsuura and other members of the Yokohama Bar Association Anti-Yakuza Committee volunteered to cooperate with the Tokyo Bar Association Anti-Yakuza Committee to support Miro’s case, and so I filed the complaint with the Kanagawa Police Department. We had Yasumori and all the top officers in the Kanagawa Police Department Organized Crime Control Department behind us, who promised to cooperate fully in bringing the case to trial. Afterwards, Yasumori paid another visit to my offices. He said that according to their investigations, this case started with an extortion attempt on Kawamata by Ishizaka and two of his underlings, and then moved to Miro. So Yasumori wanted to start proceedings with the events around Kawamata’s extortion. That was the general consensus of the Kanagawa Police Department. Despite my reservations, I thought I might be the one who was misreading the case – if everyone was obsessing that much over Kawamata then there was nothing I could do, so I agreed. And I will say that as I expected, on February 24, 2006, D-day for the Kanagawa Police Department, the day that the main suspect Ishizaka was to be arrested at Narita International Airport upon his return to Japan, Ishisaka suddenly canceled his return. Someone in the Kanagawa Police Department had leaked information to Ishizaka. There

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Translation of Extract from 激突! Battle Royale! Author – Toshiro Igari Kodansha 2010

did not seem to be any way that we could properly build an attempted extortion case against Ishisaka, the main suspect, without a deposition. And of course, the Kanagawa Police was met with silence and denial by the three Ishisaka underlings and culprits they arrested. As a result, the Yokohama prosecutors could not prosecute, and so the investigation ended in failure. Yasumori came to me a third time on March 29, 2006 and said, “I feel bad about our failure. I really had no idea the information would leak. The Kanagawa Police Department cannot handle yakuza related cases.” It really seemed to hurt for him to have to say that. Then he left. The Case Was Over, It Was A Bitter Loss, But… After this failure, I appealed Miro’s case directly to the head of the Metropolitan Police Organized Crime Control Bureau, Tomoaki Tabata. He promised that the entire Organized Crime Control Department would be behind prosecuting Miro’s case. Led by Officer Yoshi Hayashi, the entire department cooperated in investigating the case. However, the investigation ran into trouble. We could definitely believe Miro’s statements. He was an Australian lawyer and a good and credible person. The details of Miro’s statement were also sound, with no deviation. But too much time had passed since the attempted extortion of Miro. We could not rely on accurate statements of eyewitnesses. During that time the contract between Miro and Fedor was broken, and Fedor would not cooperate in giving a statement. The Yokohama Prosecutors were moving to drop the case against the three people arrested by the Kanagawa police in Kawamata’s case. They had gathered plenty of statements from people related to the case, and so it would be difficult to create statements that would overturn the general outline of the case. But even so, the Metropolitan Police Department continued to build a case and conduct a criminal investigation. They negotiated with Koki Sugigaki, second in command at the Metropolitan Prosecutor’s Office, but he would not agree to an arrest and prosecute. Then at Sugigaki’s office I was told that because Fedor was overseas we could not get a corroborating statement, and because the Yokohama Prosecutor’s Office was beginning to doubt the attempted extortion charges against Ishizaka in Kawamata’s case it would be difficult to gather statements and sustain a trial, giving the Metropolitan Police grounds to end the case. It was a bitter loss. However, based on the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police investigations, due to the continued suspicious relationship of DSE (which runs Pride) with

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Translation of Extract from 激突! Battle Royale! Author – Toshiro Igari Kodansha 2010

yakuza, we filed a cease and desist order for their illicit yakuza association. On June 5, 2006 Fuji Television terminated their contract with DSE and ceased airing Pride. Our activities in Miro’s case essentially cut off the source of funding for the Yamaguchi Syndicate which they had been receiving through Pride. I had always thought that the Tokyo prosecutor’s office Public Safety Bureau was not aggressive enough on bringing cases up against the yakuza, even before this case. All Miro’s case did was make that clear. I was deeply dissatisfied with the prosecutor dropping the case of the attempted extortion by Pride against Miro. We had video clearly showing the contract between Miro and Fedor. It was not necessary to have Fedor’s statement. Even if the Yokohama Prosecutor’s office made a negative statement against the attempted extortion of Kawamata by Ishizaka, the attempted extortion of Miro should have been a separate case. With cases to eliminate yakuza, if the police out on the front lines decide to file an equivalent charge with the prosecutor, it would have been a matter for the courts to decide these charges, and not be held back by a prosecutor getting stuck on whether a conviction could be obtained with absolute certainty. The prosecutor puts way too much emphasis on getting a guilty verdict. I had hoped that the prosecutor would take a more positive view of the problem of eliminating organized crime. On December 16, 2006 I met with Nobuaki Sato, who replaced Katsuhiko Kumasaki as head of the main Prosecutor’s Public Safety Bureau, and suggested that we hold a regular meeting between the Dai-Ichi Bar Associations’ Anti Yakuza Committee and the Metropolitan Police Department to exchange information on fighting racketeering. I suggested that we should share our knowledge and share the responsibility to eliminate anti-social forces. This suggestion was supported by Kunihiro Matsuo, who was Attorney General at the time, and so it was decided that we would hold these meetings. Since then, two or three times a year we hold regular meetings. From time to time the Unit 4 of the Metropolitan Police Organized Crime Control Department would participate. It was a year late, but they finally realized that speaking with the Japan Federation of Bar Associations Anti-Yakuza Committee is vital, and so it was decided that we would nationally push for more conversations with prosecutors.

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