Spicy showdown: Thai eatery saviour gives yakuza gang a taste of justice in Japan

Photo via ANN News

Police arrested a Thai man working at a Thai restaurant in Japan after he killed one and injured two Japanese yakuza gang members while saving his Thai friend from a brutal attack.

According to a local news agency, the incident took place outside a Thai restaurant in the city of Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, at around 7.40pm on November 2. Two Japanese men were stabbed in the stomach and back, while another was stabbed in the chest and later died in hospital.

Witnesses said that five Japanese men, reportedly Yakuza members, were drunk. They approached the restaurant and kicked all the bicycles parked outside. A Thai man who worked at the restaurant went out to tidy up the bikes.

Without warning, the yakuza group attacked the Thai man, who fled the scene to avoid being assaulted even more. His Thai friend, 53 year old Rungroj, went out of the restaurant to help his friend. He used his left hand to ask the yakuza gang members to stop while hiding a knife in his right hand behind his back.

The news agency reported that Rungroj stabbed three yakuza members with the knife but details of the moment before the stabbing were not reported. Rungroj was arrested at the scene and charged with murder.

The Thai victim who was physically assaulted said that Japanese customers witnessed the incident and that the security cameras recorded everything. The yakuza said they hated Thais and wanted all Thais to leave. All Thai restaurants should be closed. The yakuza reportedly said they were the owners of the land.

Yakuza overstep boundaries

The incident became a wide topic of discussion on Thai social media. Many Thai netizens expressed their opinions on the incident, saying that Rungroj should not be punished for the act of self-protection.

An expert on Japanese studies at the National Institute of Development Administration, Nareenuch Damrongchai, shared her opinion on the matter, saying that Japanese people regard every life as important and equal, so murder is considered very violent.

Nareenuch explained that the incident was strange because the yakuza had their boundaries and did not get involved with locals, especially because of racism. Nareenuch suspected that human trafficking and illegal Thai workers were related to the motive behind the incident.

Nareenuch added that the culture within the yakuza gang might have changed because Japanese society had changed and people were under a lot of pressure, unlike in the past. Thais who plan to travel or live in Japan need to be more careful. In the past, you could get your lost belongings back in Japan, but you cannot expect the same today.

Nareenuch said old people in Japan are more likely to steal than in the past. This is not because of poverty but because of the loneliness of being left behind by their children.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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