A series of gangster-related shootings rattled Tokyo and left one man dead Friday, just days after the nation was stunned by the brazen slaying of the mayor of Nagasaki city by a mafia boss.
It was unclear whether Friday's shootings were related to the killing in Nagasaki on Tuesday, and police were investigating whether the latest incidents signaled a brewing war between rival organized crime syndicates.
Friday's events began when a suspected gangster shot a rival on the street near a Tokyo convenience store, police office Yukio Tonose said. The victim, who was later identified as a 37-year-old gang member, died at a hospital.
The shooter is then believed to have barricaded himself in a rival gang's office from where several shots were fired, police official Yasuhiro Goto said.
No one was hurt in the second series of shootings, and police surrounded the building where the alleged shooter was holed up, Goto said.
Police evacuated nearby residents and were trying to negotiate his surrender.
"We believe these shooting were related to a war between rival gangs," Tonose said.
Shootings are relatively rare in Japan, which has strict gun control laws, but Friday's incident was the second this week.
On Tuesday a gangster seeking compensation from the city for damage to his car fatally shot the mayor of Nagasaki. Police arrested Tetsuya Shiroo, a senior member of Japan's largest crime syndicate, the Yamaguchi-gumi, at the scene and said he admitted to the attack.
According to local media, police believe Shiroo harbored a grudge against Mayor Iccho Ito over unheeded claims for damage to his car when he drove into a hole at a public works construction site in 2003.
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