The Yakuza Connection?

8 Aug – In the midst of recent yakuza scandals such as of former Japanese TV host Shimada Shinsuke, another underworld controversy has rised. This time it involves former idol group Morning Musume member Kago Ai's boyfriend, according to ZakZak and Jiji as reported by Tokohive.

A suspect, said to be Kago's boyfriend, was arrested by Tokyo Metropolitan Police on 6 September in relation to attempted extortion to bilk a portion of his own debt by saying that he has close affiliations with the yakuza Yamaguchi Clan. The suspect is reportedly one Ando Haruhiko, 44, a restaurant manager in Roppongi.

The incident that triggered the arrest was said to happen in June when Ando was demanded for a repayment of a debt of 20,000,000 yen (around US $260,000) from a 30-year old company employee in Toyama Prefecture. Ando allegedly told the victim that he was "in friendly affiliation with the mafia boss of Yamaguchi Clan", and refused repayment.

The sources further went on to say that according to the Metropolitan Police Department, Ando claimed that he did not borrow money or utter the name of the group to threaten [him].

According to the officials, Ando began his relationship with the former Hello! Project member in August of last year and later, moved in together. At that time, Kago was unstable in her career and was known for cancelling her events in the eleventh hour. She left her agency as well.

It was also revealed that Kago has reportedly been taken in for questioning as well.

Also, in another report it was allegedly said that the suspect was previously in a relationship with J-pop singer Kahara Tomomi until January of last year.

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