High School Essay Example - Why has it been impossible to stop the influence of the Yakuza in Japan since WWII?
Yakuza is an organized crime syndicate in Japan. It is an enormous organization comprising almost 80,900 members operating internationally. Their activities include drug trafficking, human trafficking, protection rackets, extortion, etc.
In the World War II, Yakuza took extremely conservative right wing stance, and thus, got an opportunity to establish themselves in the mechanism of the governing bodies. Till today, Yakuza have managed to maintain their intimacy with Japanese political and corporate world.
There is an absence of political will in Japan to uproot Yakuza. One needs to know the Japanese political and social background in order to understand the reasons behind this. The elected Japanese government has always been extremely weak compared to other democratic capitalist countries. The rapid turnover of prime ministers and ministers weakens the government further. All important positions in government are held by retired bureaucrats. A large number of bureaucrats become businessmen after retirement. Several ex bureaucrats have become presidents, CEOs, chairmen or managers of business associations. Another difference in Japan and other capitalist democratic countries is that, several non state bodies perform essential political functions.
These complexities in the social and political structure indicate that Japan is badly in need of legitimization. The emperor, hailing from Japan’s feudal past, was a legitimate face of the state. Thus emperor was used as in Japan by the bureaucrats to make their actions appear legitimate to the public.
However, the emperor system lost its divinity post World War II, and a need was felt for an alternative that could make people listen to the bureaucrats’ decisions. Outright repression was chosen as an alternative and Yakuza were chosen to perform this task. Yakuza can beat up, threaten or kill anyone who opposes the king, and in turn the bureaucrats. They are repressing the people on the government’s behalf. And hence, there is no political will in Japan to finish Yakuza. Rather, Yakuza have become unstoppable in Japan post World War II.