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MPD to seek veterans' assistance with security issues

As the clock ticks down to the summit talks of the Group of Eight major
countries to be held at the Lake Toya resort in Hokkaido in July, the
Metropolitan Police Department plans to start a training program to
enhance young officers’ security skills with the help of veteran officers
who have served in the MPD’s riot police units, it has been learned.

According to MPD sources, young officers from MPD police stations will
join members of riot police units to provide security in Tokyo, as some
riot police officers are scheduled to be dispatched to Hokkaido.

However, due to concerns that the young officers’ experience is
insufficient, the MPD is turning to the riot police veterans, many of whom
served during the 1960s and ’70s, when fierce protests were held over the
Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and other matters.

According to the sources, the MPD’s new program is first of its kind.

During the summit, some of the MPD’s 4,000 riot police will be sent to
Hokkaido. To fill the policing gap this will create, young police
station-based officers will be selected to serve as a temporary riot
police officers. Their duties will include protecting Tokyo against

Most MPD officers who entered the service after the 1980s do not have
experience in facing violent demonstrations.

In recent summit meetings, many activists were arrested for holding
aggressive demonstrations against globalization, among other issues. The
MPD is concerned that inexperienced officers might be unable to cope if
such protests happen in Tokyo.

On the other hand, officers with experience of violent
demonstrations—such as those that occurred in the 1960s and ’70s against
the renewal of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and the construction of
Narita Airport—are decreasing.

The officers who quelled these demonstrations, many of whom were injured
after being on the receiving end of demonstrators’ Molotov cocktails and
stones, now only number about 900 of the MPD’s 43,000 officers. Further,
they are all scheduled to retire within five years.


Source: www.yomiuri.co.jp