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Kawamata names big yakuza groups in appeal

By Zach Arnold | November 7, 2006

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By Zach Arnold

On August 31st, Seiya Kawamata embarassingly lost a court lawsuit against Nippon TV in Tokyo District Court. Kawamata had sued Nippon TV for 200 million yen that N-TV did not pay him for the disastrous Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003 event. Nippon TV stated that they did not pay Kawamata the money because he didn’t produce Mirko Cro Cop for the event. However, Kawamata was able to book Emelianenko Fedor and on the outside-looking-in, Kawamata (an admitted yakuza fixer) looked like he was going to win his lawsuit in court. Instead, he lost. And that was not a good thing for him.

Kawamata has decided to file an appeal in court. And what an legal appeal it is.

A correspondent in Japan, who has knowledge of Kawamata’s appeal filing, claims that it’s short on legal arguments, but explosive in naming names. Names of who? Names of various yakuza big-wigs.

In an unprecedented move in Japan in official and publicly available court documents, Kawamata names alleged top ranking yakuza members that he claims DSE supposedly sent to threaten him. He not only named the allged yakuza bosses, but he provides details about the groups he claims they belong to — all of them he says are tied to mega-gang Yamaguchi-gumi. Some of his charges include naming Ota Kogyo (now called Ota-kai), Goto-gumi, and another group (which was at the time the strongest gang within Yamaguchi-gumi, providing the Japanese Godfather). Also in his appeal, Kawamata discusses the alleged relationship between the Inoki Office and Kenryu-kai.

Furthermore, he attached the statement that he made to Kanagawa Police to his court appeal. This statement to the Kanagawa Police led to the arrest of senior bosses from Goto-gumi (who were subsequently released) and also to DSE’s alleged yakuza owner, Mr. I (Ishizaka – real name, Kim Dok-Soo, who is not in Japan now).

Kawamata accuses Nippon TV producer Shuji Miyamoto of having full knowledge about the actions of the yakuza and claims that Miyamoto asked him to fight DSE’s supposed yakuza with stronger yakuza. This request by Miyamoto was a difficult one for Kawamata because of his claims that DSE’s supposed yakuza backers were from the strongest gang in Japan at the time (Yamaguchi).

Kawamata also makes the claim that Mirko Cro Cop backed out of the Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003 show because (Kawamata charges) he was paid $300,000 by Ken Imai (who Kawamata claims was acting on behalf of PRIDE).

The significance of Kawamata’s scorched earth strategy with this legal appeal is important. The allegations by Kawamata are designed to embarass Nippon TV and to also cause difficulties for DSE, which is trying to rebuild its corporate image after being canceled by Fuji TV last June. Kawamata has made similar allegations before in Shukan Gendai, which launched a negative campaign that led to PRIDE’s ultimate dismissal by Fuji TV. DSE President Nobuyuki Sakakibara threatened to sue Kawamata & Shukan Gendai, claiming that the yakuza allegations were groundless. Kawamata’s appeal will likely lead to more negative press for PRIDE in the masscomi (mass media).

Topics: All Topics, Japan, Media, MMA, PRIDE, Yakuza, Zach Arnold | 1 Comment » | Permalink | Trackback |

One Response to “Kawamata names big yakuza groups in appeal”

  1. […] With a professional wrestling industry that is already crippled and fighting for survival, Japan cannot afford to see its MMA market depleted and destroyed. However, that is exactly what is happening right now in that country. A country that often projects a first-class world image is finding itself battling to fight out-of-control gang wars that are every bit the symbols of third-world corruption. As the veil of secrecy regarding the Japanese fight game continues to get more publicly exposed (via the court system, the media, and other outlets), the uglier the picture truly looks. […]