National Police Agency (Japan)

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
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.


In the Empire of Japan, Police services was placed under complete centralized control with the Police Affairs Bureau (警保局 Keiho-kyoku) of the Home Ministry as its 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 polices (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 of Japanese municipalities were too small to have their own police, so sometimes they were unable to deal with large-scale violence. In addition, excessive fragmentation of the police organization had reduced the efficiency of police activities.[2]

As a response to these problems, complete restructuring created an even more centralized system under the 1954 amended Police Law. All operational units were reorganized as the Prefectural Police Departments for each prefectures. 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

Community Safety Bureau

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]

Criminal Affairs Bureau

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]

Traffic Bureau

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]

Security Bureau

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]

Info-Communications Bureau

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

Local Branch Bureaus and Departments

Regional Police Bureaus

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

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.

Subsidiary Organs

Imperial Guard

In 1947 the Imperial Police 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 1957. 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


  1. "Police of Japan". National Police Agency. Archived from the original on 2008-02-22. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 National Police Agency Police History Compilation Committee, ed. (1977). Japan post-war police history (in Japanese). Japan Police Support Association.
  3. 1 2 3 4 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". Japanese National Police Agency. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2012-02-15.
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