Sun. Oct 2nd, 2022

O Japan has a long and convoluted history with yakuza, the various local crime syndicates, the Japanese equivalents of the Mafia’s “families”. Like Western groups, they generally profit from smuggling, extortion, money laundering… the usual. As in the Mafia, there is a whole hierarchy where the closer to the leadership of a group, the more a member will be able to accumulate wealth and enjoy all the good and the best, or almost everything: in Japan, operators are prohibited since 2011 to sell plans furniture to members of the Yakuza, which left the elders, including the bosses, trapped in the 3G…which is about to be shut down across the country.
In Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, Kiryu had a Sony Xperia XZ;  per In Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, Kiryu had a Sony Xperia XZ; because “in theory” he is an ex-Yakuza, he could use 4G (Credit: Reproduction/Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio/SEGA) This “story” is a good example that state bureaucracy can also bring benefits to society. For a long time, the Japanese remained attached to the concept of “feature phones”, the old and reliable flip phones with physical keyboard, which even with the advancement of iPhone and Android devices, continued to sell well in Japan for years. Apple only managed to turn the tables and take the lead in the Japanese mobile market in 2014, and only in 2016, sales of flip phones started to fall, but they still haven’t disappeared completely. Local manufacturers, such as Kyocera, still produce new models, some with launch outside Japan, although aimed at a more restricted audience. At the same time, Japan values ​​the elderly a lot, and the market understands that many of the past generations prefer to keep using legacy products, so they continue to produce things like VHS tapes (the manufacture of VCRs only ended in 2016), and cell phones. flip, favored by older people for a number of reasons. You might think that this is why Yakuza bosses, almost all of whom are over 50, are seen in public wielding flip phones, but this is not a matter of nostalgia or preference, but a lack of resources. In 2011, prefectures in Japan enacted a series of new laws, known as the “Organized Crime Exclusion Decrees”, which prohibit companies from doing business with members and institutions linked to the Yakuza, or other criminal groups. No exceptions. Focusing on the mobile phone market, operators are prohibited from selling new phone plans to mobsters, and stores and manufacturers also cannot sell cell phones, tablets and other gadgets directly. The retail network cannot sell anything either.
SIM Cards (Credit: PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay)SIM Cards (Credit: PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay) In the case of cell phones, it is perfectly possible to acquire a second-hand device in the gray market, but when the SIM chip is in business, things change completely. As in Brazil, all plans, whether post-paid or pre-paid, must be activated with the operators upon registration, and the user is obliged to guarantee that he is not a Yakuza. The reason is simple: if an operator pretends they didn’t see anything, and sells a plan to a mobster, if he is caught, the company will be held accountable too. As a result, members of the Yakuza from before the laws went into effect are stuck with their plans prior to this, all 3G only. The younger ones even have 4G, which they hired before they got into crime. It would even be possible for the leaders to lie in the declaration, but they are already constantly watched by the authorities, who wait for the slightest slip to arrest them. That hasn’t stopped yakuza cases from being caught in the act. In 2017, Kobe Yamagushi-Gumi leader Kunio Inoue was arrested for fraud with an accomplice, in which the couple tried to trick the system to buy a new cell phone, presumably with the woman as “orange”. Although the punishment for the two was not high, the case yielded a search warrant to the Hyogo prefectural police in the Kansai region, who were able to enter the organization’s office and investigate other members. Now for the icing on the cake: operators SoftBank and DoCoMo announced plans to turn off 3G nationwide, respectively in January 2024 and March 2026. KDDI (Au), in turn, pulled the plug, in March 2026. 2022. It’s much easier to see a “chimpira”, the equivalent of the Mafia’s “made man” (the lowest member of the hierarchy, the soldier), using a modern smartphone, while the bosses will continue with their flip phones and contracted 3G plans before 2011. And soon, they will run out of mobile phone options, as they are unlikely to risk going to jail for a gadget. Source: SoraNews24