Police on Saturday questioned the former executive of a group of companies that a third party found had improperly dealt with a major fast-food chain over the arrest of a member of a yakuza gang in the fatal shooting of its president, investigative sources said.
The hearings were conducted voluntarily after a third-party panel appointed by Ohsho Food Service Corp. examined the relationship between the operator of the restaurant chain “Gyoza no Ohsho” and anti-social organizations in March 2016.
A vehicle carrying Yukio Tanaka enters a police station in Kyoto on October 29, 2022. (Kyodo)
The investigation found that the restaurant chain made improper deals with the head of a conglomerate before the president took office in 2000.
The development follows the arrest on Friday of mobster Yukio Tanaka, 56, on suspicion of the 2013 murder of Takayuki Ohigashi, then the head of Ohsho Food Service.
After his arrest, Tanaka was driven about 500 kilometers on Friday from Fukuoka Prefectural Prison to Kyoto Police Station for questioning, where police appear to have avoided public transport to protect him from attack by other yakuza.
It took a train of police cars about 11 hours to transport Tanaka to Kyoto from the prison where he served time for assault in 2008.
The vehicle carrying Tanaka, a high-ranking member of a gang linked to the Kudo-kai gang, arrived at the Kyoto police station shortly after 4am on Saturday morning.
Tanaka is suspected of killing Ohigashi with a firearm in a parking lot outside Ohsho Food Service’s head office in Kyoto on December 19, 2013.
There was concern among law enforcement officers that Kudo-kai members might launch an attack to try to “eliminate” Tanaka before he could talk to officers about the Kudo-kai, an investigative source said.
“They (Kudo-kai) don’t care at all about harming bystanders” to achieve their goals, the source said.
The arrest came after Kyoto police obtained expert testimony showing that traces of DNA from a cigarette butt found near the crime scene matched that of the suspect. The cigarette was the same type that Tanaka usually smoked at the time, investigative sources said.
Police suspect Tanaka was hired to kill Ohigashi, but so far have no other connection between the two, according to sources.
In November 2020, Tanaka was sentenced to 10 years in prison for shooting at a company car belonging to general contractor Obayashi Corp. in Fukuoka in 2008.
Yakuza man arrested for murder of Gyoza no Ohsho restaurant chain head in 2013