The Yakuza is Quietly Helping Earthquake Victims in Japan

The Japanese are just a different breed altogether. Not only was there very little looting after the big earthquake and tsunami, their mafia groups are now also helping out with the relief effort!

Hours after the first shock waves hit, two of the largest crime groups went into action, opening their offices to those stranded in Tokyo, and shipping food, water, and blankets to the devastated areas in two-ton trucks and whatever vehicles they could get moving.

The day after the earthquake the Inagawa-kai (the third largest organized crime group in Japan which was founded in 1948) sent twenty-five four-ton trucks filled with paper diapers, instant ramen, batteries, flashlights, drinks, and the essentials of daily life to the Tohoku region.

An executive in Sumiyoshi-kai, the second-largest crime group, even offered refuge to members of the foreign community—something unheard of in a still slightly xenophobic nation, especially amongst the right-wing yakuza.

The Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest crime group, under the leadership of Tadashi Irie, has also opened its offices across the country to the public and been sending truckloads of supplies, but very quietly and without any fanfare.


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@Katy: calling Japan "almost a police state" is just ridiculous. I find difficult to name countries that have more respect for their citizens rights.
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What a shame. That the Yakuza are helping is noble; that commenters use this as another chance to drag out and kick the US is ignoble.

The fact is that humans tend to help each other in times of great upheaval and uncertainty. This is not a Japan thing; this is a human thing. We are hard wired as social creatures, and this is most evident when life turned upside down.

A few Malthusians may point out Katrina, but I would counter that those people had been preconditioned by years of dependency on the state; distorted away from natural behavior by dependency, and the propaganda of entitlement.

People are inherently this good. Were it not so, we would not be where we are.
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The Japanese, unlike many other countries, are very well prepared for disasters such as this. Yes, even this one. It's part of their infrastructure, so it's not like looting was even necessary. People are conditioned to trust that supplies will get to them. (And they have). Furthermore, when I was in Japan there was one thing I learned: security is very, very tight. It's almost a police state. Even in the chaos of an earth quake, looting would be tricky to pull off. I'm always creeped out by the racist "Asians are just superior people" unlike "some others who shall remain nameless." If you believe that then please do some research on war crimes during WWII. While the altruism and courage people have shown is outstanding, that doesn't mean that victims of other disasters are sinister ne'er do wells. It means we need to have better preparedness.
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