The Asia Times on 8th October carried a fascinating article saying that the US has imposed sanctions on Japan’s most infamous mobsters in move designed to strangle their US and global operations. The newspaper says it was the first time the US has targeted specific corporations run by a yakuza group for their blacklist, though in 2011, President Obama first issued executive orders placing financial sanctions on several transnational criminal organisations, including the yakuza. The article profiles the gangs, saying that they hardly lurk underground – the 22 crime groups collectively referred to as “the yakuza” are regulated under several laws, but not outright banned: they have office buildings, business cards and even fan magazines devoted to their exploits and history. The Yamaguchi-gumi organisation, the subject of the US sanctions move, has headquarters in Kobe almost as big as a city block and built like a fortress. The article does note that there has only been one successful arrest and prosecution of a major yakuza boss on US soil, in the 90s.