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Saturday, November 8, 1997 Published at 12:07 GMT



World: Far East

Japanese firms call for end to extortion

One of Japan's most prestigious business organisations has made an unprecedented appeal to its member companies to stop making payments to gangsters, known as the sokaiya.

Companies have been advised to act in concert with other firms in the same industry to eliminate the racketeers.

The move follows recent scandals and arrests involving some of Japan's biggest firms being involved in sokaiya pay-offs, which are now illegal.

The BBC Tokyo correspondent says that thousands of firms have already stopped giving in to sokaiya extortion, but some have had to seek police protection for fear of retaliation by the gangs.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service








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