Tokubetsu-keibi-tai (Metropolitan Police Department)

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The Emergency Service Unit members with a jo. Tokubetsukeibitai (Metropolitan Police Department) special forces.jpg
The Emergency Service Unit members with a .

The Emergency Service Unit (特別警備隊, Tokubetsu-keibi-tai) was a rapid reaction force of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department (TMPD) in the pre-World War II era. [1] This unit were interpreted as a Japanese counterpart of the New York City Police Department Emergency Service Unit. [2]


In 1933, this unit was established in the Police Bureau ( 警務部 , Keimu-bu) for the crowd control, riot control, counter-terrorism, search and rescue, disaster response or other emergency missions. The strength was 307 officers, divided into four companies. Acting as a SWAT team of the TMPD, they were equipped with a , tantō and FN Model 1910 semi-automatic pistol while ordinary police officers had only a sabre. And a bulletproof vest was also equipped as needed. They were popular as "Shinsengumi in the Shōwa period" even among the common people. [1]

During the war, as air raids on Japan intensified and civilian casualties increased, TMPD Emergency Service Unit was enhanced for relief mission and renamed as Security Unit ( 警備隊 , Keibi-tai), and at the same time, it was decided to set up similar units in other prefectures with major cities. But all these units were inactivated in 1946 as the occupation progressed, but on the same day, the Guard Section (防護課, Bougo-ka) was created for the same role in the TMPD only. In 1948, this section was reinforced to the Police Reserve Units ( 予備隊 , Yobi-tai), and in 1957, they renamed to the Riot Police Units ( 機動隊 , Kidō-tai) in conjunction with other prefectures. [1]

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  1. 1 2 3 100th anniversary event Steering Committee, ed. (1974). History of the Metropolitan Police Department hundred years (in Japanese). Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. p. 205.
  2. Kazuo Tanemura (1970). References of Police matters (in Japanese). pp. 97–101. ASIN   B000J87MCM.