Gangsters have joined the wide chorus of criticism and concerns about the anti-conspiracy law.

The Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest organized crime syndicate, has distributed to its members a manual on how to avoid being wrongly arrested under the law that took effect on July 11.

The law is officially known as the revised law to punish organized crimes, and it has come under fire because it allows for the arrests of citizens even before a crime has been committed.

The Asahi Shimbun obtained a copy of the Yamaguchi-gumi’s four-page manual titled, “Thinking about conspiracy.”

The very beginning of the manual shows that the Yamaguchi-gumi believes authorities will initially go after gangsters to quell criticism of the law.

“Yakuza will be targeted intensively so that (police) can show they have made actual achievements based on the law,” the manual says.

A chapter titled, “Conspiracy and yakuza,” explains the goal of the revised law as follows: “It is aimed at arresting all members (of a group), including those at the top, and convicting them.”

The manual cites newspaper articles to explain the contents of the law and cases in which the legislation could be applied to gangsters.

One example gives the scenario of a gang member arrested for suspected violations of the Swords and Firearms Control Law.

“A case could arise in which police fake a story that the gang member’s intention was murder, and then other members, executives and the boss could be charged with conspiracy,” the manual says.

It also notes that the anti-conspiracy law enables police to arrest people before crimes are committed, and says, “The wiretapping law will be used to gather evidence (for an arrest).”

The “Conclusion” chapter urges members to take precautions against wiretapping in their daily activities.

It also gives advice on what gangsters should do if their colleagues are arrested.

“It is important to offer lawyers’ notebooks and to take detailed notes on the questioning to prevent them from being falsely charged, such as for conspiracy,” the manual says.

(This article was written by Yoichiro Kodera and Kenta Yasumi.)