Japanese police crackdown on Yakuza mob

Man walks past a branch of Mizuho Financial Group's Mizuho Bank in Tokyo

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Japanese mobsters driving flash cars purchased with bank loans. Executives bowing in apology for loaning millions to those underworld figures. And high-level officials vowing to squash the crime syndicates, known as yakuza.

Japan Inc. is engulfed in its worst mob scandal in years and it's shining a rare light on the links between big business and shadowy organised crime groups usually known for low-brow ventures like extortion and loan sharking.

But with membership falling as police ratchet up a crackdown, experts say the yakuza are branching far outside their traditional business into everything from insider trading to funding business startups. (AFP)

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