Japanese gang boss found beaten to death

Story highlights

Tatsuyuki Hishida was found tied up and bleeding, police say; autopsy shows he was beaten to death

Police say he was a boss in Japan's largest crime syndicate, which recently split into two factions

CNN  — 

A man described by police as a boss in Japan’s organized crime network, the yakuza, was found dead on Sunday night, bleeding from the head after being bludgeoned multiple times, a police official told CNN.

Tatsuyuki Hishida was found bleeding from the head with multiple injuries, said police officer Yoshihiro Nakamura of the Mie Prefectural Police Organized Crime Division. He said Hishida’s hands and feet were bound by plastic cable ties.

Hishida’s wife and staff found him at the entrance area of his second home in Yokkaichi city of Mie prefecture in western Japan, according to his wife.

An autopsy showed Hishida died of traumatic shock from numerous blows all over his body, Nakamura said. An investigation into the slaying is underway.

Police say Hishida was the head of one member group in Japan’s largest crime syndicate, the Yamaguchi-gumi.

In August, the Yamaguchi-gumi splintered into two main factions, stoking concerns that the split could spark a gang war involving all 21 designated crime groups in the country.

Nakamura said police have been on high alert for potential violence since the rupture.

The last split in the Yamaguchi-gumi occurred in 1984 and resulted in several years of violent warfare marked with assassinations, shootings and attempted bombings that terrified the Japanese public.

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Tiffany Ap wrote from Hong Kong and Yoko Wakatsuki reported from Tokyo.