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Japan – Organised crime involved in recruitment of specialised personnel

28 October 2013

As Japan struggles to get to grips with its ongoing nuclear disaster at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power facility, organised criminals are becoming actively involved in the recruitment of ‘specialised personnel’ for dangerous tasks, reports Global Research.

A Reuters article last week wrote: “The complexity of Fukushima contracts and the shortage of workers have played into the hands of the Yakuza, Japan’s organised crime syndicates, which have run labour rackets for generations.”

The Yakuza labour practices at Fukushima are based in a corrupt system of subcontracting, which does not favour the hiring of competent specialised personnel. It creates an environment of fraud and incompetence, which in the case of Fukushima could have devastating consequences reports Global Research.

The subcontracting with organised crime syndicates is a means for major corporations involved in the clean-up to significantly reduce their labour costs.

As documented in several Global Research articles, the removal of fuel rods from reactor number 4, if handled by unspecialised personnel under the lax supervision of corrupt subcontractors linked to the Yakuza, could potentially lead to a massive radioactive fallout.

Japanese Ministries, the companies involved in the decontamination and decommissioning work, and the police have set up a task force to eradicate organised crime from the nuclear clean-up project. Police investigators say they cannot crack down on the gang members they track without receiving a complaint. They also rely on major contractors for information.

In a rare prosecution involving a Yakuza executive, Yoshinori Arai, a boss in a gang affiliated with the syndicate Sumiyoshi-kai, was convicted of labour law violations. Mr Arai admitted pocketing around USD 60,000 over two years by skimming a third of wages paid to workers in the disaster zone. In March a judge gave him an eight-month suspended sentence because Arai said he had resigned from the gang and regretted his actions.

In April, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare sanctioned three companies for illegally dispatching workers to Fukushima. One of those, a Nagasaki-based company called Yamato Engineering, sent 510 workers to lay pipe at the nuclear plant in violation of labour laws banning brokers. All three companies were ordered by labour regulators to improve business practices.

To read the full article from Reuters, please click here

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