Yakuza's Halloween treats for kids to be banned

The assembly of Hyogo Prefecture in western Japan has revised an ordinance to stop the country's largest crime syndicate from handing out treats to children at its headquarters on Halloween.

The assembly on Monday unanimously approved a draft revision of the anti-gangster ordinance submitted by the Hyogo Prefectural Police Department.

The Yamaguchi-gumi has been treating children at its headquarters in Kobe City on October 31 for many years, with gangsters in Halloween costumes handing out sweets to young visitors.

The revised ordinance prohibits crime syndicates from letting children under 18 enter their offices without due reasons such as cases when children are relatives of gangsters.

Syndicates are also banned from giving cash and goods to children, making phone calls or sending emails to them with the aim of putting youngsters under their control.

If any yakuza group violates the ordinance, the prefecture's public safety commission will issue an order to correct the violation. If the group does not comply, members face a prison sentence of up to six months or fines of up to about 4,700 dollars.

The amended ordinance will go into effect on October 26, in time for Halloween.