One-eyed gang chief jailed for extortion in Japan
The second in command of Japan's biggest yakuza crime organisation was convicted of extortion yesterday.
Kiyoshi "Mekkachi" Takayama, 65, who reputedly lost the use of one eye in a swordfight early in his career, was jailed for six years.
His underworld nickname of "Mekkachi" means "one-eyed" in the dialect of western Japan.
Takayama is second in command of the Yamaguchi-gumi, a vast organised crime syndicate that had 27,700 members at the end of last year, according to the National Police Agency.
He had been on 1.5 billion yen (HK$122 million) bail for treatment of an illness since June last year. It was one of the highest bonds ever set by a Japanese court.
Throughout his trial in the western city of Kyoto, the mobster had denied extorting 40 million yen from a local construction company with the help of an affiliated gang boss, reports said.
Presiding judge Akihiro Ogura told the court: "The constructor's testimony that he had been the victim of extortion by the defendant is credible."