Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department

Last updated
Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department
Headquarters building
Tokyo MPD.svg
Agency overview
Formed9 January 1874
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction Tokyo, Kantō region, Japan
Governing body Tokyo Metropolitan Government
General nature
Operational structure
Overviewed byTokyo Metropolitan Public Safety Commission
Headquarters1-1 Kasumigaseki 2-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8929
Police Administrative Civilians3,015
Agency executives
  • Hiroshi Kojima, Superintendent General
  • Katsushi Ikeda, Deputy Superintendent General
  • Administration
  • Personnel and Training
  • Traffic
  • Community Police Affairs
  • Security
  • Public Security
  • Criminal Investigation
  • Community Safety
  • Organized Crime Control
Patrol Cars1292
Security boats22
Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department (in Japanese)
Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department (in English)

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department (TMPD) ( 警視庁 , Keishichō), known locally as simply the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), is the prefectural police of Tokyo Metropolis, Japan. Founded in 1874, the TMPD is the largest police force in Japan by number of officers, with a staff of more than 40,000 police officers and over 2,800 civilian personnel.


The TMPD is headed by a Superintendent-General, who is appointed by the National Public Safety Commission and approved by the Prime Minister. It manages 10 divisions and 102 stations across the Metropolis. [1]

The TMPD's headquarters are located in Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda, Tokyo. Built in 1980, it is 18 stories tall, and is a large wedge-shaped building with a cylindrical tower. The HQ building is located opposite of Sakurada Gate, so it is also metonymically called "Sakurada Gate". [2]


Tokyo Metropolitan Police Headquarters in 1931 Tokyo-Metropolitan-Police-Board-Headquarters-1931.png
Tokyo Metropolitan Police Headquarters in 1931

The TMPD was established by Japanese statesman Kawaji Toshiyoshi in 1874. Kawaji, who had helped establish the earlier rasotsu in 1871 following the disestablishment of the Edo period police system, was part of the Iwakura Mission to Europe, where he gathered information on Western policing; he was mostly inspired by the police of France, especially the National Gendarmerie on which the rasotsu were based. On 9 January 1874, the TMPD was established as part of the Home Ministry, with Kawaji serving as its first Superintendent-General. [3]

TMPD officers in charge of censorship duties in 1938 Censorship TMPD.png
TMPD officers in charge of censorship duties in 1938

By the 1880s, the police had developed into a nationwide instrument of government control, and their increasing involvement in political affairs was one of the foundations of the authoritarian state in the Empire of Japan during the first half of the 20th century. By the 1920s and 1930s, police across Japan, including the TMPD, were responsible not only for law enforcement and public security, but also firefighting, labor dispute mediation, censorship, upholding public morality, issuing permits, and government regulation of businesses, construction, and public health.

When Japan surrendered at the end of World War II, the TMPD was placed under Allied control in occupied Japan. The Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers viewed the existing Japanese police system as undemocratic and sought to reform it, so in 1947 the Old Police Law (旧警察法, Kyū keisatsu-hō) was passed, decentralizing Japanese police and reorganizing them into municipal police and rural police; as a municipal police force, the TMPD was limited to the 23 wards of Tokyo, but the "Metropolitan" part of the name remained. Police firefighting duties were also split off to independent fire departments, with the TMPD's Fire Bureau developing into the Tokyo Fire Department in 1948. However, issues concerning manpower and efficiency among smaller and spread out municipalities arose, so in 1954 the amended Police Law ( 警察法 , Keisatsu-hō) was passed, reunifying the police into prefectural divisions under the National Police Agency; [3] as part of the amendment, the TMPD regained jurisdiction over the Tokyo metropolitan area.


In 1978, the TMPD was investigated when a uniformed officer killed a female university student inside her residence. [4] In 1997, an officer was caught for making up information in an amphetamine case. [4]

In 2007, the TMPD was under scrutiny when a serving TMPD officer was involved in an incident where he used his official sidearm to shoot a female person to death before he committed suicide. [4]

The TMPD was investigating an incident in the Kamata Police Station in Ota Ward where a police officer committed suicide in February 2014 due to harassment at work. The chief in charge was disciplined. [5]


The TMPD is under the command of a Superintendent-General and reports directly to the Tokyo Metropolitan Public Safety Commission. The Superintendent-General can be appointed and replaced at any time as long as the prime minister and the TMPSC receives their approval. [6]

Since the TMPD is autonomous, it does not operate under the authority of any Regional Police Bureau. [7]

The TMPD has nine bureaus that report to the Deputy Superintendent General: [1]

The TMPD also operates its own academy, the Metropolitan Police Academy.

Ranks and insignia

The ranks used in the TMPD have been slightly revised in 2013, changing only the English translation of some of the ranks used by the force. [1]

Otherwise, these ranks are observed throughout its history. [8]

See also


  1. Not observed from TMPD websites/books as of 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Minor adaptions were made by the TMPD in 2013.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">National Police Agency (Japan)</span> Japanese central coordination law enforcement agency

The National Police Agency is the central coordinating law enforcement agency of the Japanese police system. Unlike national police in other countries, the NPA does not have any operational units of its own aside from the Imperial Guard; rather, it is responsible for supervising Japan's 47 prefectural police departments and determining their general standards and policies, though it can command police agencies under it in national emergencies or large-scale disasters. It is under the National Public Safety Commission of the Cabinet Office.

Chief superintendent is a senior rank in police forces, especially in those organised on the British model.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hong Kong Police Force</span> Law enforcement agency of Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) is the primary law enforcement, investigative agency, and largest disciplined service under the Security Bureau of Hong Kong. The Royal Hong Kong Police Force (RHKPF) reverted to its former name after the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to People's Republic of China in 1997.

In Japan, the Imperial Guard is the name for two separate organizations dedicated to the protection of the Emperor of Japan and the Imperial Family, palaces and other imperial properties. The first was the Imperial guard divisions, a quasi-independent elite branch of the Imperial Japanese Army which was dissolved shortly after World War II. The second is the Imperial Guard Headquarters, a civilian law enforcement organization formed as part of the National Police Agency.(警察庁)

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Police services of the Empire of Japan</span>

The Police System of the Empire of Japan comprised numerous police services, in many cases with overlapping jurisdictions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Law enforcement in Japan</span> Overview of law enforcement in Japan

Law enforcement in Japan is provided mainly by prefectural police under the oversight of the National Police Agency. The National Police Agency is administered by the National Public Safety Commission, ensuring that Japan's police are an apolitical body and free of direct central government executive control. They are checked by an independent judiciary and monitored by a free and active press.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Special Assault Team</span> Japanese police tactical units

The Special Assault Team is a police tactical unit maintained by individual Japanese prefectural police and supervised by the National Police Agency.

Superintendent (Supt) is a rank in the British police and in most English-speaking Commonwealth nations. In many Commonwealth countries, the full version is superintendent of police (SP). The rank is also used in most British Overseas Territories and in many former British colonies. In some countries, such as Italy, the rank of superintendent is a low rank.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Security Police (Japan)</span> A bodyguard unit in Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department

The Security Police is the close protection division of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. Under the Security Bureau of the TMPD, the division is responsible for protecting domestic and foreign dignitaries on Japanese soil and abroad.

The Public Security Bureau is a bureau of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department (TMPD) in charge of public security with jurisdiction over the Tokyo metropolis. It has a force of more than 2,000 officers. The bureau reports to the Deputy Superintendent General.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kawaji Toshiyoshi</span> Japanese politician

Kawaji Toshiyoshi, also known as Kawaji Toshikane, was a Japanese military general, politician, and samurai. during the Meiji period. A Satsuma Domain samurai initially tasked to study foreign systems for application in the Japanese military, Kawaji fought against forces loyal to the Tokugawa shogunate during the Boshin War. Later, his work on setting up the Japanese police at the aftermath of the Meiji Restoration, first as rasotsu, and then as keisatsu, earned him the recognition as the founder of Japan's modern police system. Besides his police and military work, he was also noted for his contributions to the development of Kendo, a Japanese martial art.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tokubetsu-keibi-tai (Metropolitan Police Department)</span>

The Emergency Service Unit was a rapid reaction force of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department (TMPD) in the pre-World War II era. This unit were interpreted as a Japanese counterpart of the New York City Police Department Emergency Service Unit.

Chief inspector is a rank used in police forces which follow the British model. In countries outside Britain, it is sometimes referred to as chief inspector of police (CIP).

The Security Bureau of the National Police Agency is a bureau of the National Police Agency in charge of national-level internal security affairs.

Seibu Keisatsu Special is a television drama produced by Ishihara Promotions and broadcast on TV Asahi. The show aired on Japanese television on October 31, 2004, in conjunction with the 17th anniversary of the death of Yujiro Ishihara. It carries on the Seibu Keisatsu series, which was broadcast from 1979 to 1984. It portrays the efforts of the Hatomura Force (鳩村軍団) in combating terrorism.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Riot Police Unit</span> Rapid reaction forces of Japanese police

Riot Police Unit are the rapid reaction forces of Japanese prefectural police. These units are not only riot police, but a type of emergency service unit to maintain public order against large civil disorder, disaster response, or other emergency situations as the key units of Japanese law enforcement for crisis management. They are operated by prefectural police headquarters (PPH) under the supervision of the Security Bureau of the National Police Agency.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Special Investigation Team</span> Tactical detective units of Japanese prefectural police

Special Investigation Teams (SIT) are tactical detective units of Japanese prefectural police. Special Investigation Teams are maintained by prefectural police headquarters (PPH) and are trained to handle critical incidents including criminal investigation and tactical operations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Prefectural police</span> Regional law enforcement agencies in Japan

In the law enforcement system in Japan, prefectural police are prefecture-level law enforcement agencies responsible for policing, law enforcement, and public security within their respective prefectures of Japan. Although prefectural police are, in principle, regarded as municipal police, they are mostly under the central oversight and control of the National Police Agency.

The Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) is structured into numerous bureaus and units. As a whole, it is commanded by the Commissioner of Police, who is assisted by three deputy commissioners. The "Deputy Commissioner – Operations" supervises all operational matters including crime. The "Deputy Commissioner – Management" is responsible for the direction and co-ordination of force management including personnel, training, and management services. The “Deputy Commissioner — National Security” is responsible for the National Security Department, which deals with acts of sedition, terrorism, and collusion with foreign governments.


  1. 1 2 3 TMPD. "2019 Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department" (PDF). p. 34.
  2. "霞が関、桜田門、兜町…「別の意味」でも使われる東京の地名 | マネーポストWEBマネーポストWEB". マネーポストWEB (in Japanese). 2018-10-07. Retrieved 2023-02-07.
  3. 1 2 "History" (PDF). National Police Agency (Japan). 2021. Retrieved 2023-02-07.
  4. 1 2 3 "Top Tokyo cop reprimanded for alleged murder by officer". The Japan Times . Kyodo News. 21 September 2007.
  5. Clegg, Cara (23 April 2014). "'Power harassment' in Japan's police force blamed for officer's suicide". SoraNews24.
  6. "The Present Police Organizations of Japan and the Philippines" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  7. Nakahara, Hidenori (1956). "The Japanese Police" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  8. "The Police of Japan" (PDF). National Police Agency of Japan. 1982. Retrieved 2019-05-13 via National Criminal Justice Reference Service.
  9. Metropolitan Police Department, police stations Archived 2014-08-03 at the Wayback Machine , Ogasawara Archived 2014-10-02 at the Wayback Machine : 管内の概況 Archived 2014-08-09 at the Wayback Machine

35°40′37″N139°45′08″E / 35.67694°N 139.75222°E / 35.67694; 139.75222