A senior member of an affiliate of one of Japan's major crime syndicates was arrested Friday on suspicion of shooting and killing the president of major fast-food chain "Gyoza no Ohsho" in Kyoto in 2013.

Yukio Tanaka, a 56-year-old member of a group linked with yakuza crime syndicate Kudo-kai, is suspected of murdering Takayuki Ohigashi, 72, then head of Ohsho Food Service Corp., who was shot dead in a parking lot in front of the company's head office in the western Japanese city on Dec. 19, 2013.

File photo shows police investigating near the scene of Takayuki Ohigashi's murder in Kyoto in December 2013. (Kyodo)

The move came after a police investigation demonstrated that traces of DNA from a cigarette butt found near the crime scene matched that of the suspect. The cigarette was the same brand as those Tanaka usually smoked at the time, the sources said.

But police have so far found no clear connection between Tanaka and Ohigashi, and are looking further at the suspect's motives as well as whether he had an accomplice, the sources said.

The man is currently serving time in prison on a 10-year sentence handed down in November 2020, when he was convicted of shooting at a car belonging to a major general contractor in Fukuoka, southwestern Japan.

Ohigashi was shot four times, in his chest and abdomen, by a .25-caliber automatic weapon when he got out of his car in the parking lot in Kyoto's Yamashina Ward. Several hundred thousand yen in cash was found left in his car.

Police suspected the shooter, who fled the scene, was someone familiar with firearms, which is relatively unusual in Japan due to its strict gun laws.

They also detected gunshot residue from the handle of a motorcycle stolen two months before the crime, believed to have been used as a get-away. A motor scooter, which was stolen around the same time, was also thought to be used for the same purpose. The vehicles were recovered near the crime scene in the spring of 2014.

In March 2016, a third-party committee that looked into links between Ohsho Food Service and antisocial organizations said that the company had conducted inappropriate business transactions with a head of a corporate group before Ohigashi took the helm in 2000.

Ohsho Food Service, listed on the top-tier Prime Market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, operates a Chinese dumpling restaurant chain under the Gyoza no Ohsho brand in Japan. The popular fast-food chain has over 700 stores nationwide since it opened its first in 1967.