Bags containing debris from decontamination work are piled up in a Bags containing debris from decontamination work are piled up in a tentative storing site in Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture. The location pictured is not where the workers in the article were operating.
Yakuza arrested in Fukushima decontamination work racket
Three men, including a yakuza gang boss affiliated with Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest crime syndicate, have been arrested on suspicion of illegally supplying workers for government-commissioned decontamination work related to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant accident.
The three are yakuza group leader Hidenobu Maruta, 48, of Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward, construction company executive Shigeki Yamamura, 59, of Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, and Akio Kitano, 51, an unemployed resident of Saitama, Tokyo police announced Sept. 27.
All three deny the allegations of employment brokering without a license, a violation of the Employment Security Law, and intermediate exploitation, which is banned under the Labor Standards Law.
Maruta and Yamamura are accused of supplying two workers from January 2015 to March 2016 to a sub-subcontractor who carries out decontamination operations for the government project, and receiving 160,000 yen ($1,430) together in commission without consent from the labor ministry.
The cleanup work was conducted in Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture.
Maruta and Kitano are suspected of taking commission amounting to about 920,000 yen from the wages of those two workers, according to the police department in charge of organized crime.
The three suspects are said to have shared cut of 2,000 yen to 3,000 yen from each of the workers’ 16,000-yen daily wage.
Further to the exploitation of the aforementioned two workers, the suspects are believed to have received about 10 million yen collectively through brokering about 10 other workers to the sub-subcontractor.
3 nabbed over alleged illicit job mediation for Fukushima cleanup workers
Police on Sept. 27 arrested three people, including a high-ranking member of a gang affiliated with the Yamaguchi-gumi crime syndicate, on suspicion of illicitly introducing workers to other businesses to engage in Fukushima decontamination work.
The three suspects, including a gang member in his 40s, were arrested on suspicion of violating the Employment Security Act by mediating in paid work without permission. Police believe that the service charges the suspects received were being used to fund gang activities.
Investigators said that the three are suspected of having introduced decontamination workers to other businesses since 2014 and charging introduction fees, despite lacking permission from the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare that is required by law.
A consulting company based in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward that was effectively run by the suspects’ gang dispatched workers to decontamination zones through other businesses. The workers reportedly engaged in decontamination work in Fukushima Prefecture.
In January 2013, Yamagata Prefectural Police arrested a high-ranking member of a gang affiliated with the Sumiyoshi-kai crime syndicate on suspicion of violating the worker dispatch law in connection with the dispatch of workers engaging in Fukushima-related decontamination work.