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|National Police Agency|
|Formed||July 1, 1954|
|Annual budget||¥258,344M(FY 2005/6)|
|Headquarters||2-1-2 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-8974, Japan|
|Parent agency||National Public Safety Commission|
The National Police Agency (警察庁 Keisatsu-chō) is an agency administered by the National Public Safety Commission of the Cabinet Office of the Cabinet of Japan, and is the central agency of the Japanese police system, and the central coordinating agency of law enforcement in situations of national emergency in Japan.
Unlike comparable bodies such as the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the NPA does not have any operational units of its own except for the Imperial Guard. Instead, its role is to determine general standards and policies, although in national emergencies or large-scale disasters the agency is authorized to take command of Prefectural Police Departments.
As of 2016, the NPA has a strength of 7,800 officers: 2,100 police officers, 900 Imperial guards and 4,800 police staff. The total strength of the Prefectural Police Department is approximately 287,900 officers: 259,500 police officers and 28,400 police staff. Nationwide, there are approximately 22,000 female police officers and 12,700 female police staff.
Police services of the Empire of Japan were placed under complete centralized control with the Police Affairs Bureau (警保局 Keiho-kyoku) of the Home Ministry at their core. But after the surrender of Japan, the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers regarded this centralized police system as undemocratic.
During the Occupation, the principle of decentralization was introduced by the 1947 Police Law. Cities and large towns had their own municipal police services (自治体警察 Jichitai Keisatsu), and the National Rural Police (国家地方警察 Kokka Chihō Keisatsu) was responsible for smaller towns, villages and rural areas. But most Japanese municipalities were too small to have a large police force, so sometimes they were unable to deal with large-scale violence. In addition, excessive fragmentation of the police organization reduced the efficiency of police activities.
As a response to these problems, complete restructuring created a more centralized system under the 1954 amended Police Law. All operational units except for the Imperial Guard were reorganized into Prefectural Police Departments for each prefecture, and the National Police Agency was established as the central coordinating agency for these Police Departments.
The Commissioner General of the National Police Agency (警察庁長官 Keisatsu-chō Chōkan) is the highest ranking police officer of Japan, regarded as an exception to the regular class structure. For the Deputy Commissioner General (次長 Jichō), the Senior Commissioner is supplemented. The Commissioner General's Secretariat (長官官房 Chōkan Kanbō) are their staff. The civilian political leadership is provided by the National Public Safety Commission.
The Traffic Bureau (交通局 Kōtsū-kyoku) is responsible for traffic policing and regulations. This bureau was derived from the Safety Bureau (保安局 Hoan-kyoku) (later merged with the Criminal Affairs Bureau; predecessor of the Community Safety Bureau) in 1962 because of the expression indicating a high number of deaths from traffic accidents.
They are located in major cities of each geographic region. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department and Hokkaido Prefectural Police Headquarters are excluded from the jurisdiction of RPBs. Headed by a Senior Commissioner, each RPB exercises necessary control and supervision over and provides support services to prefectural police within its jurisdiction, under the authority and orders of NPA's Commissioner General. Attached to each Regional Police Bureaus is a Regional Police School which provides police personnel with education and training required of staff officers as well as other necessary education and training.
Metropolitan Tokyo and the island of Hokkaidō are excluded from the regional jurisdictions and are run more autonomously than other local forces, in the case of Tokyo, because of its special urban situation, and of Hokkaidō, because of its distinctive geography. The National Police Agency maintains police communications divisions in these two areas to handle any coordination needed between national and local forces. In other area, Police Communications Departments are established within each Regional Police Bureaus.
In 1947, the Imperial Guard Headquarters (皇宮警察本部 Kōgū-Keisatsu Honbu) was created under the control of the Home Ministry from the Imperial Household Ministry. It came under the aegis of the National Police Agency of Japan in 1954. It provides personal security for the Emperor, Crown Prince and other members of the Imperial Family of Japan, as well as protection of imperial properties, including the Tokyo Imperial Palace, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Katsura Imperial Villa, Shugakuin Imperial Villa (both in Kyoto), Shosoin Imperial Repository in Nara and the imperial villas of Hayama, Kanagawa and Nasu, Tochigi.
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