TOKYO — Citizens of a central Japanese city Saturday celebrated winning a two-year battle to oust an underworld organization from their neighborhood. But gang members said they will remain.
In a landmark decision Friday, the district court in Hamamatsu, southwest of Tokyo, ordered the 110-member Ichiriki-ikka gang to stop using a central building as its office. It was the first time a Japanese citizens' group had succeeded in ousting an underworld gang.
"This shows you that ordinary people can stand up to the threat posed by these gangs," a representative of the 497-member citizens' group said.
In August, Tetsuya Aono, leader of Ichiriki-ikka, dropped a lawsuit against the citizens, filed on the grounds that their campaign to oust his gang caused him psychological pain.