Reuters reports that Japan’s infamous notorious organized crime network has been active in the earthquake relief effort:

Yakuza groups have so far dispatched at least 70 trucks to the quake
zone loaded with supplies worth more than $ 500,000 (311,000 pounds),
according to Jake Adelstein, an expert on yakuza who lives in Tokyo and
is writing two books on the Japanese syndicates.

The gangs’
charity is rooted in their "ninkyo" code, Adelstein says, which values
justice and duty and forbids allowing others to suffer. "In times such
as earthquakes, they put their money where their mouths are," he said.

Mizoguchi a freelance writer and yakuza antagonizer who has written
about organized crime for 40 years, also gives the yakuza the benefit
of the doubt.

"Rather than a PR effort, I think it’s actually
good intentions," said Mizoguchi, who has angered the yakuza so much
that he has been stabbed twice in attacks by gang members.

The obvious parallel here is the the role Pakistani extremist groups played in the relief effort after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and 2010 floods. (Though the extent of that role is disputed.)

Check out an excerpt from Adelstein’s Tokyo Vice on The Cable from last year. 

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