Yamamoto Kaiichi

Death row inmate dies of liver cancer

January 4, 2010

A 62-year-old death row inmate died of liver cancer Saturday at the Tokyo detention house, the Justice Ministry said Sunday.

The death of Kaiichi Yamamoto, who was convicted of shooting five people to death at a gang syndicate office in Saitama Prefecture in 2003, has brought the total number of death row inmates in Japan to 103. The former gang leader was diagnosed with liver cancer last August after his death sentence was finalized in 2008, but he did not seek surgery to tackle the disease.


Yakuza who gunned down five fellow mobsters to hang
The Japan Times: Friday, Sept. 9, 2005

SAITAMA (Kyodo) The Saitama District Court sentenced a gangster to death Thursday for gunning down five other gangsters in December 2003.

Kaiichi Yamamoto, 58, the boss of a gang affiliated with Sumiyoshi-kai, killed 69-year-old Genichi Hosoda, the boss of another Sumiyoshi-kai-affiliate, and four other mobsters while the six were meeting in Iruma, Saitama Prefecture, according to the court.

Presiding Judge Shinichiro Fukuzaki called the defendants actions "persistent, cruel and antisocial."
"It is a heinous case rarely seen in criminal history," the judge said. "The containment of violence through violence cannot be condoned."

Yamamoto was on bad terms with Hosoda, who was ranked higher than him in Sumiyoshi-kai, and had heard rumors that Hosoda was planning to kill him or his relatives. Acting on this suspicion, he decided to murder Hosoda first, the court said.

Kokusui-kai gets made

The Tokyo-based underworld syndicate Kokusui-kai has become an affiliate of Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan's largest crime syndicate, according to police sources.

Police believe the move is part of Yamaguchi-gumi's nationwide expansion efforts. The Metropolitan Police Department said Kokusui-kai has about 470 members.

The Japan Times: Friday, Sept. 9, 2005
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Five mobsters gunned down in Saitama yakuza office
The Japan Times: Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2003

SAITAMA (Kyodo) Five gangsters were shot dead Sunday at a yakuza office in Iruma, Saitama Prefecture, and the suspected gunman has been arrested, according to police.

Police identified the suspect as mobster Kaiichi Yamamoto, 56, who turned himself in at Sayama Police Station.
Investigators said they received a call Sunday from a man who said he had shot five people dead at the office, located at a house in a residential area. Police who arrived at the scene found all five dead. They said they later discovered that the caller was Yamamoto.

Yamamoto, who heads a gang affiliated with the Sumiyoshi-kai underworld syndicate in Iruma, told police he shot the five men at around 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

He was quoted as telling the police he had a grudge against the men, including 69-year-old Genichi Hosoda, head of the Hosoda-gumi, another gang affiliated with the Sumiyoshi-kai.
Yamamoto said he took two handguns to a regular meeting of gang leaders operating in Saitama Prefecture, held at the Hosoda-gumi headquarters, police said.

Investigators found two semiautomatic handguns at the murder scene.

Police identified the four other slain men as Takahide Namba, 64, Katsutomo Namba, 61, Hideaki Suzuki, 41, and Hiroshi Yamada, 56.

They said the victims were members of other gangs affiliated with the Sumiyoshi-kai.

The five had sustained head and abdominal wounds, with the shots having apparently been fired at close range, investigators said. They appear to have died instantly.
Police subsequently dispatched officers to guard the headquarters of Yamamoto's gang in Iruma against retaliatory attacks.

The shooting took place in a quiet residential area at a private house surrounded by high walls. According to neighbors, gangsters began frequenting the property after the previous owner of the house moved out about 10 years ago.

The Japan Times: Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2003
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