Yakuza In Japan Might Get Banned From Using Expressways In Future

The Japanese prefectural governments adopted Organized Crime Exclusion Orders in 2011. These rules ensured that local businesses and companies would not be allowed to do transactions with organized criminal groups like yakuza under surveillance. At first glance, it might seem like a lot of trouble screening every customer, and you shouldn’t be surprised even if convenience shops don’t adopt this method wholeheartedly. However, it does limit people with links to criminal organizations from entering into legal contracts.

Although it is still being determined if this was intended in planning the ordinances, it has made life more difficult for yakuza members since more services are based on contracts. Many yakuza members find themselves blackballed when they try to get new smartphones. To add to their dismay, the government may also prevent their use of expressways.

Japan’s expressways require that you pay a toll. You usually pay this toll to a toll collector or a machine that blocks your way if you don’t pay the toll. Japan’s Electronic Toll Collection System was introduced in 1997. This allows cars to whiz through tolls and pays when their transponder detects high-speed traffic.

The ease of ETC and its ability to reduce congestion announced in 2020 that the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism would replace all toll booths with ETC lanes. This is a gradual replacement plan with complete ETC saturation in the country by 2030. It will make it difficult for yakuza members to sign up for an ETC card.

Because of a loophole in paperwork, gang members can apply for cards. Although the terms and conditions stipulate that members associated with organized crime will be removed from their membership, there are no restrictions on a gangster applying for and receiving a card. This is a de facto “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Nine yakuza members were thus arrested for possessing ETC cards between 2015-2021. However, each case was dropped due to the ambiguity in the contract language. The six major Japanese highway companies announced that they would rectify the situation and refuse to provide service to organized crime.

With the ETC operators strengthening the infrastructure and modernizing the infrastructure, members of the yakuza may have to take a long route when traveling. Some online commenters needed to be convinced that this was the best way to deal with organized crime on both a practical and ethical level.

Organized crime groups will not likely find a way to circumvent these tightening restrictions on our daily conveniences. They’ll need help to keep up with the rapid pace at which contract-based services are evolving and emerging. 


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