Japan’s yakuza head released

The head of Japan’s largest crime syndicate, the Yamaguchi- gumi, was released from a Tokyo prison Saturday after doing time since December 2005. The release of Kenichi Shinoda, 69, who also passes as Shinobu Tsukasa, is prompting police to brace for aggressive activities by the syndicate, which they say has 34,900 members nationwide or 44 percent of the entire "yakuza" gang members.

Shinoda was arrested in 1997 on suspicion of being involved in the possession of a gun by a member of a gang under his control, and was promoted to the sixth boss of the Yamaguchi-gumi in August 2005 while he was on bail.

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