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Crime

Chinese Dragon gang member arrested for attempted extortion of teen in Tokyo karaoke parlour

The Chinese Dragon gang has traditionally recruited members from the estimated 10,000 children of Japanese colonial families who were left in China after the second world war

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 October, 2017, 1:49pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 October, 2017, 9:32pm

Police in Tokyo have arrested a member of an underworld group made up of descendants of Japanese abandoned in China in the closing days of the second world war on charges of illegally confining and attempted extortion of a Chinese national.

Suhei Cho, 22, is allegedly a member of the Chinese Dragon organised crime group but has denied the charges, the All-Nippon News Network reported.

According to police, the 19-year-old alleged victim was approached by a Chinese woman in a restaurant in the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo in August. The woman then suggested that they leave together and go to a nearby karaoke parlour, the Tokyo Reporter news site said.

Once in a booth at the karaoke parlour, the victim was allegedly confined by Cho and at least two accomplices.

They reportedly demanded Y1.4 million (US$12,450) in cash from the victim. When he resisted, they burned his hand with a cigarette.

Numerous similar cases have been reported to Ikebukuro police in the last 12 months and authorities are looking into whether they are related.

Under questioning, Cho said: “I didn’t do anything,” police said.

The Chinese Dragon gang is based in the Ikebukuro district and has traditionally recruited its members from the estimated 10,000 children of Japanese colonial families who were left in China in the scramble to escape back to Japan in 1945.

Known as war-displaced Japanese, the children were frequently raised by Chinese families until a programme by the Japanese government in the 1980s sought to identify and repatriate the survivors. As well as the war orphans, their families were permitted to settle in Japan, although many found the transition to a new culture – as well as discrimination – difficult to overcome.

Japanese authorities have been staging a broader crackdown on the activities of gangs across the country, with the Chinese Dragon group a target of the authorities in the capital.

In early 2015, Masaru Takagi, the leader of the gang was released after serving a prison sentence in China for entering the country illegally and put on a plane for Japan from Shanghai.

Wanted in Japan, he was arrested as he disembarked at Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport and arrested in connection with falsified documents used in an application for a passport in 2011.