Payment As Protection

 The Japanese laws are getting tougher and tougher on organized crime groups, or yakuza. People say it’s hard for them to even earn a living.

 One of their important ways to make money is “mikajime” fee. It’s difficult to translate into other languages. I’ll call it “protection” for now. All of the sex establishments I worked for paid it to the local yakuza.

 It’s a fee to use places. Gangsters have their own territory. If someone wants to do business within it, they have to pay money. Instead, when something happens, they can get help.

1 Sex establishments are not alone. It applies to virtually all of the industries. If you open a food stand on the street without any notice, youngsters of the local yakuza will immediately find you and warn you, “You had better pay a protection fee to continue.”

 Just another staff have few opportunities to learn about the protection. I’ve never worked as a manager, so I have no idea how much it costs on the average.

 I know that a sex shop I worked for paid 100,000 yen every month as an advertisement. The manager himself visited the yakuza’s office and handed it to them.

 They nominally promise that they’ll protect the shop if something happens. I’ve never heard “something” did happen. No guarantee here.

 Recently, it has even become difficult for yakuza to gather protection fees. The reason is the first line of the article.

 Another reason is, deriheru is the only type of sex clubs that new operating licenses are issued. It has an office or ready room but no front desk and attract customers only through the Internet. The website doesn’t show where they are. Yakuza finds it difficult to learn where to go.

 Plus, laws are revised so that connection with organized crime groups could leads to business suspension.

 Compared to just a dozen years ago, gangsters in Japan has clearly become weaker. Still, I think it will never go away completely.  

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