News organizations have consistently celebrated the steady rise of the Tokyo Sky Tree in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward. Yet the most interesting aspect to the building project, set to reach a height of 634 meters, might be taking place at ground level.
At the base of the steel structure, a signboard, complete with a stick-figure campaign character raising its fists in anger, announces that yakuza criminal gangs are prohibited from participating in the project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2012.
In November 2008, members of construction companies formed a committee designed to exclude gangster groups. A similar arrangement was conceived for the new incarnation of the Kabuki-za theater in Ginza, Chuo Ward, whose historic building closed this year.
Read the rest of the story: Yakuza groups shoveled aside by Japan’s frustrated contractors.