National Police Agency (Japan)

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National Police Agency
Abbreviation NPA
Logo of the National Police Agency
Agency overview
Formed July 1, 1954 (1954-07-01)
Employees 7,721 (2013)
Annual budget ¥258,344M (FY 2005/6)
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
National agency Japan
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters 2-1-2 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-8974, Japan
Civilians 4,900
Agency executive Masayoshi Sakaguchi, Commissioner General
Parent agency National Public Safety Commission
Child agencies
Regional Bureaus
Website (English) (Japanese)
 See the reference[1] below for the source of the above data.
NPA building

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 coordinating agency of the Japanese police system.

Unlike comparable bodies, such as the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the NPA does not have any operational units of its own. 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 forces.


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.[2]

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.[2]

As a response to these problems, complete restructuring created a more centralized system under the 1954 amended Police Law. All operational units 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.[2]



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. [2]

Internal Bureaus[edit]

Community Safety Bureau[edit]

The Community Safety Bureau (生活安全局, Seikatsu Anzen-kyoku) is responsible for crime prevention, combating juvenile delinquency, and pollution control.[3]

This bureau was derived from the Safety Division of the Criminal Affairs Bureau in 1994.[4]

  • Community Safety Planning Division (生活安全企画課)
  • Community Police Affairs Division (地域課)
  • Juvenile Division (少年課)
  • Safety Division (保安課)
  • Cybercrime Division (情報技術犯罪対策課)
  • Director for Economic Crimes Investigation (生活経済対策管理官)

Criminal Affairs Bureau[edit]

The Criminal Affairs Bureau (刑事局, Keiji-kyoku) is in charge of research statistics and coordination of the criminal investigation of nationally important and international cases. [3]

  • (Direct reporting divisions)
    • Criminal Affairs Planning Division (刑事企画課)
    • First Investigation Division (捜査第一課)
    • Second Investigation Division (捜査第二課)
    • Director for Criminal Intelligence Support (捜査支援分析管理官)
    • Director for Criminal Identification (犯罪鑑識官)
  • Organized Crime Department (組織犯罪対策部)
    • Organized Crime Policy Planning Division (組織犯罪対策企画課)
    • Japanese Organized Crime Division (暴力団対策課)
    • Drugs and Firearms Division (薬物銃器対策課)
    • Director for International Investigative Operations (国際捜査管理官)

Traffic Bureau[edit]

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.[2][3]

  • Traffic Planning Division (交通企画課)
  • Traffic Enforcement Division (交通指導課)
  • Traffic Management and Control Division (交通規制課)
  • License Division (運転免許課)

Security Bureau[edit]

The Security Bureau (警備局, Keibi-kyoku) is in charge of the internal security affairs, such as counter-intelligence, counter-terrorism or disaster response. [2][3]

  • (Direct reporting divisions)
    • Security Planning Division (警備企画課)
    • Public Security Division (公安課)
    • Security Division (警備課)
  • Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Department (外事情報部)
    • Foreign Affairs Division (外事課)
    • Counter International Terrorism Division (国際テロリズム対策課)

Info-Communications Bureau[edit]

The Info-Communications Bureau (情報通信局, Jōhō Tsūshin-kyoku) supervises police communications systems and combat with cyberterrorism.

  • Info-Communications Planning Division (情報通信企画課)
  • Information Systems Division (情報管理課)
  • Communications Facilities Division (通信施設課)
  • High-Tech Crime Technology Division (情報技術解析課)

Local Branch Bureaus and Departments[edit]

Regional Police Bureaus[edit]

There are seven Regional Police Bureaus (管区警察局), each responsible for a number of prefectures as below:[5]

Tohoku Regional Police Bureau (東北管区警察局, Tōhoku Kanku Keisatsu-kyoku)
Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, and Fukushima Prefectures
Kanto Regional Police Bureau (関東管区警察局, Kantō Kanku Keisatsu-kyoku)
Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Niigata, Yamanashi, Nagano, and Shizuoka Prefectures
Chubu Regional Police Bureau (中部管区警察局, Chūbu Kanku Keisatsu-kyoku)
Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Gifu, Aichi, and Mie Prefectures
Kinki Regional Police Bureau (近畿管区警察局, Kinki Kanku Keisatsu-kyoku)
Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, and Wakayama Prefectures
Chugoku Regional Police Bureau (中国管区警察局, Chūgoku Kanku Keisatsu-kyoku)
Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, and Yamaguchi Prefectures
Shikoku Regional Police Bureau (四国管区警察局, Shikoku Kanku Keisatsu-kyoku)
Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, and Kochi Prefectures
Kyushu Regional Police Bureau (九州管区警察局, Kyūshū Kanku Keisatsu-kyoku)
Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, and Okinawa Prefectures

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.

Police Communications Departments[edit]

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.

  • Independent Communications Departments
    • Tokyo Metropolitan Police Info-Communications Department (東京都警察情報通信部, Tōkyō-to Keisatsu Jōhō Tsūshin-bu)
    • Hokkaido Police Info-Communications Department (北海道警察通信情報部, Hokkaidō Keisatsu Tsūshin Jōhō-bu)

Subsidiary Organs[edit]

Imperial Guard[edit]

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Police of Japan". National Police Agency. Archived from the original on 2008-02-22. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f National Police Agency Police History Compilation Committee, ed. (1977). Japan post-war police history (in Japanese). Japan Police Support Association. 
  3. ^ a b c d National Police Agency. "Mechanism of Police systems" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2016-11-07. 
  4. ^ Japan Federation of Bar Associations. "Declaration on police activities and citizens' human rights" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2016-11-08. 
  5. ^ "Public Safety Commission System and Police Activity Support" (PDF). Japanese National Police Agency. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-16. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 

External links[edit]