New members of Tokyo's riot police have begun training so they can help maintain public security. They're expected to play a central role during the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
About 450 officers joined the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's Mobile Units in March. Their training in Koto Ward in Tokyo on Friday was observed by senior police officials, including security bureau chief Yoshimi Ogata.
The officers practiced controlling demonstrations. They employed procedures to remove sit-in protesters and block a crowd from spilling into the streets.
In a drill based on a riot, the officers subdued a mob that was starting a fire using a water-cannon truck to douse the blaze.
Riot police normally serve about a 3-year term. The newly assigned officers will be fully trained and experienced when Tokyo hosts the 2020 Games.
Ogata told the officers to remember they joined the Mobile Units as the organization faces its biggest test. He instructed each member to work hard to improve their abilities.