|Spoiler Warning: Plot and/or ending details are in the text which follows.|
The Yakuza-Cartel War is, as the name states, a major gang war in Grand Theft Auto III between the Colombian Cartel and the Yakuza. It is one of the three major gang wars of Grand Theft Auto III, the other two being the Triads-Leone War and the Yakuza-Leone War. The war acts as the final section of Grand Theft Auto III's storyline. Key players of the war include Miguel and Catalina of the Colombian Cartel, and Asuka Kasen and Claude of the Yakuza.
Before the war
The feud between the Yakuza and the Colombian Cartel presumably started in 1998, when the Yakuza began to move into Liberty City, settling into Staunton Island, which also happened to be Colombian Cartel turf. Although originally beginning as a simple turf war between the two parties, the feud intensified with the production of the Cartel-created drug SPANK. The sales of SPANK had attracted the Yardies attention, allying themselves with the Cartels. Angered at the production of SPANK and the alliance being formed between the Cartel and Yardies, and seeing the newly-formed alliance as an attempt to take over Kenji's intrests in Liberty City and to humiliate him and the Yakuza, he sends Claude, along with a Yakuza soldier, to ruin the meeting between the two gangs at Rockford. Claude and the Yakuza soldier steal a Yardie Lobo, drives to the meeting point, and kills all of the Cartel gangsters present, as well as destroying all of the Cartel Cruisers on the site, in an attempt to frame the Yardies and to break the alliance between the two parties. However, despite their efforts, all goes bad, the two have formed their alliance and now the Yardies are pushing the drug on the street of Staunton Island, selling SPANK "as if they were selling hotdogs". Infuriated by this action, a furious Kenji sends Claude to kill the Yardie pushers on the streets, also telling him to "wash his shame in rivers of our enemies' blood".
The start of the war
Despite the growing hostilities between the two parties, the war did not start until a few days later. Real estate mogul Donald Love, using advice given to him by his mentor, takes advantage of the feud between the Yakuza and the Cartel to drop sales in real estate. Love sends Claude to steal a Cartel Cruiser to disguise as a Cartel member and kill Kenji Kasen on the parking lot roof in Newport, framing the Cartel for the murder and intensifying the already fiery relations between the two parties. This action causes Kenji's sister Asuka Kasen, to launch an all-out open attack on the Cartel in Fort Staunton, eventually taking over the construction site at Fort Staunton, with the Yakuza capturing Cartel leader Miguel in the same attack.
The middle of the War
Despite being innocent of the crime, Cartel leader Miguel was blamed for the death of Kenji, and is being tortured non stop by Asuka to reveal the Cartel's plots to push SPANK across Liberty City. Asuka sends Claude to destroy the Cartel's operations by destroying Espresso 2 Go vendors, killing Cartel assassins sent by Catalina to kill Claude, and to collect all of Catalina's SPANK in a plane making its last flight through Francis International Airport.
The end of the war
Angered at the fact that Miguel was leaking out valuable Cartel secrets to the Yakuza, which were in turn, destroying her plans, Catalina sends a hit squad to dispose of both Miguel and Asuka. The Cartels soon return to the Construction site, killing Miguel and Asuka and kidnapping Maria Latore. In order to save Maria Latore, Claude goes to the Cartel mansion to give a ransom to Catalina, only for her to double cross him, taking the money and Maria while leaving Claude to her guards to kill him. Claude however, survives and kills the guards. After being shot at, he gets a car and exits the mansion only to find a helicopter hovering above him which contains both Catalina and Maria. Claude follows the helicopter all the way to the base of Cochrane Dam and kills every Cartel goon on his way.
After coming halfway and nearly closing into the helicopter, Catalina drops off Maria at the loading bay, guarded by a couple of her men and enters her helicopter. Catalina's chopper fires missiles at the ground while Claude gets to Maria, kills all the Cartel men. Claude picks up a rocket launcher to shoot down Catalina. After a few initial missed shots, he successfully manages to hit the helicopter and it crashes against the dam in the water, killing Catalina and effectively ending the war.