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Japan appoints new heads of national, Tokyo police

  • January 14, 2020
  • , Jiji Press , 12:32 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Jan. 14 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government on Tuesday appointed Mitsuhiro Matsumoto as head of the National Police Agency and Minoru Saito as chief of the Metropolitan Police Department of Tokyo.

The appointments, which will take effect on Friday, were approved at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

The current NPA chief, Shunichi Kuryu, and the incumbent MPD head, Masamitsu Miura, will retire.

Matsumoto, 58, before assuming his current position as deputy head of the NPA, served in a number of key posts in the agency’s public security and safety divisions. He has written a book on international terrorism.

He was heading the Fukushima prefectural police department when the March 2011 massive earthquake and tsunami triggered Japan’s worst-ever nuclear plant accident in the northeastern prefecture.

Itaru Nakamura, 56, will become NPA deputy head under Matsumoto.

Saito, 58, who will lead the Japanese capital’s police, has also spent much of his police career in the public security field. He has been deeply involved in preparations for security operations and traffic controls during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Kuryu, 61, the retiring NPA chief, assumed the top Japanese police post in January 2018. He has worked on law revisions aimed at tackling the rises of car accidents involving elderly drivers and road rage cases.

While in office, Kuryu has also engaged in police responses to a spate of major natural disasters including the 2018 western Japan rain disaster and a powerful earthquake in the northern prefecture of Hokkaido in the same year.

Miura, 60, was appointed to lead the MPD in September 2018. He spearheaded making security arrangements for a series of rituals related to Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement on May 1 last year.

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