Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tokyo Police Conduct Anti-Terrorism Drill in Ginza in Preparation for Tokyo Marathon

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXLASDG22H5E_S5A120C1CC0000/

translated by Brett Larner

With one month to go until the Tokyo Marathon, the Tokyo police department carried out an anti-terrorism traning drill on Jan. 22 on the section of the course running through the Ginza area of Tokyo.  Roughly 80 people took part, including riot police, Tsukiji officials and members of the local shopowners association.

The exercise revolved around a scenario in which officers on patrol before the race discovered a suspicious man in a parking lot near the course.  Police dogs detected the smell of gunpowder on the man's bag, leading to the discovery of explosives.  Riot police wearing protective clothing transported the explosives to a safe location.

Tsukiji director Shinya Mito spoke after the exercise, touching upon the threats by the group calling itself Islamic State to kill two Japanese hostages and warning, "Terrorism is not just a foreign problem.  It happens right here in our midst in Japan as well."

According to the police department, this was the second time they have conducted an anti-terrorism exercise in preparation for the Tokyo Marathon.  Last year they performed a drill in reponse to the bombings in the United States at the April, 2013 Boston Marathon.

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