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Our Focus programme brings you exclusive reports from around the world. From Monday to Friday at 7.45 am Paris time.

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Latest update : 2012-06-19

Times getting tough for Japan's Yakuza

Japan's yakuza, whose members are known for cutting off their little fingers to atone for acts of disloyalty and mistakes, have long been active in gambling, loan sharking and money-laundering. In their golden age after World War II they even had significant influence within certain political spheres. But times are getting tougher for Japan's estimated 80,000 yakuza members: for the past decade they've been increasingly feeling the strain of a weakened economy and increased repression.

By Marie LINTON , Guillaume BRESSION

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