Downfall of Yakuza And The Rise of Yamibaito, Part-Time Criminal Work

News Asia 360
ByNews Asia 360

Key Takeaways

  • Yamibaito is shady part-time work that can be dangerous and illegal.
  • Tokuryu are anonymous crime groups that are growing in Japan.
  • Young people and those struggling financially are most at risk of being recruited for yamibaito.
  • Law enforcement finds it difficult to track down the leaders of tokuryu groups.

“Yamibaito,” shady part-time work that lures young people with promises of easy money. It is often illegal and extremely dangerous, ranging from theft to murder.

Anonymous and fluid crime groups orchestrate these jobs called “tokuryu,” which have emerged as the traditional yakuza syndicates weakened under Japan’s stricter laws.

Experts say vulnerable youth, particularly those seeking a glamorous lifestyle, are most susceptible to yamibaito schemes. They are recruited through vague social media ads or by acquaintances. Most of the time, they are unaware of the true nature of the work.

This rise in yamibaito is a major challenge for law enforcement. The number of tokuryu-related cases is increasing, with instances like a luxury watch store heist and robberies directed by a crime syndicate from prison.

The runners recruited for yamibaito come from all walks of life, from young adults like Wakayama to a former teacher and even a retiree.

The anonymous nature of tokuryu groups makes tracking down the masterminds difficult.

The disbanding of groups after each crime and the use of burner phones and encrypted apps such as Telegram further complicate investigations. This lack of knowledge about the overall structure also makes it hard to prosecute the leaders.

The decline of the yakuza is believed to have contributed to the rise of tokuryu. Stricter regulations crippled the traditional organized crime groups, but it seems they simply adapted to evade law enforcement.

Experts warn that the situation may worsen. There’s no easy solution as many runners feel trapped due to threats from the tokuryu.

Rehabilitation programs are crucial to prevent a cycle of crime for those caught up in this underworld.

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