COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.
crime

Tokyo riot police finally allowed to carry drinks on duty during summer

24 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

A little over a month ago, the Japanese Internet was shocked by a photo of two Canadian police officers carrying Starbucks coffees while on patrol, since such relaxed behavior would be unthinkable for law enforcement officers in Japan. Then Japan got hit with several weeks of record-breaking, still-ongoing heat, which has changed decision makers’ minds about what sort of behavior is appropriate for on-duty officers.

This week, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department announced that it has officially granted permission for members of the kidotai (often translated as “riot police,” but also referring to officers assigned to security details) to carry plastic beverage bottles or thermoses while on duty. Previously officers were required to wait until they returned to their assigned guardhouse or vehicle to drink water or otherwise rehydrate.

Members of the kidotai are often posted outside Tokyo’s government buildings and foreign embassies, which means standing out in the blazing sun. While possible dehydration is always a concern in Japan’s hot and humid summers, the threat is especially great this year, which prompted the relaxed regulations.

Due to the nature of their work, however, the officers need to be ready to deal with potentially violent criminals, and thus they’re not allowed to carry their beverages in their hands like the Canadian officers were photographed doing. Instead, Tokyo officers have been seen with beverage bottles in holders strapped to their belts (previously such accouterments were not allowed under department uniform regulations). The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has also begun issuing special vests with interior pockets filled with ice packs to help prevent heat exhaustion.

Given the stigma of colored beverages as discretionary, leisure-time drinks, it’s unlikely that any Tokyo officers will be sipping on lattes. Still, between simple water, Japan’s numerous clear sports drinks, and its new breed of transparent, non-carbonated flavorful soft drinks, they’ll at least be able to keep hydrated while they keep the country safe.

Source: TBS News via Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Photo of Canadian cops doing something that would be unthinkable in Japan goes viral

-- Osaka police continue trend of creating extremely unique (and effective?) recruitment posters

-- Vending machines in Tokyo Station not getting restocked, exploitative “black company” to blame

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
Login to comment

Good old Japan, anything worth doing is worth doing miserably.

25 ( +26 / -1 )

"A little over a month ago, the Japanese Internet was shocked by a photo of two Canadian police officers carrying Starbucks coffees while on patrol..." Really just goes to show how little most locals know of the larger world, and as a result how easily shocked they are when they encounter something outside their limited frame of reference...

21 ( +22 / -1 )

Ah, Japan. You can't drink, you can't eat and you can't even go to the can while you are working. I've been in trouble before for having a snack at my desk outside my designated lunch time. Do Japanese people ever grow tired of being told what to do? I know I do.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Leave it to us to make each job as miserable and robotic as possible!

The riot police here have the easiest job on earth. Even beat cops are out looking for bikes and admonishing jaywalkers with あぶないs!

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Given the stigma of coloured beverages....

What? We’re in Japan, not Alabama.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

This is such a Japan story.

For years they weren’t allowed to carry drinks - for all the atarimae reasons..

now watch. Soon there’ll be a manual and they’ll have to drink 250mls every 60 mins and record it in a notebook and if the notebook isn’t filled in correctly some superior will yell at them.

J cops should buy Canadian cops a beer if they ever go there!

Btw the colored beverages in Alabama line was funny!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

It’s news when a common sense decision is made.

There are two types of people in this world. They approach life with a YES based approach; accepting, flexible , creative , willing to learn and change , bend the rules and have fun. Then there’s those that do the opposite and spend their days defining what they and others can’t and shouldn’t do. Just like Star Wars we choose which side of the force we bat for. ( ok sometimes your upbringing and surroundings chooses for you ) Sad, bitter and resentful people that never took life by the horns will naturally fall into the latter category. Quite sad to watch sometimes. Navigate well.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

What a miserable job, stand in the sun, I guess hoping something will happen and until now unable to even drink water. Maybe next or in 2020 they might be allowed to smile. Officially of course. I'm interested do they do a course in how to consume water in a official way?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Previously officers were required to wait until they returned to their assigned guardhouse or vehicle to drink water or otherwise rehydrate.

Water and food most important aspect but people can suffer dehydration pretty quickly that's why you can see canteen bottle for people who are doing activity outdoor.

Japan becoming more get into their sense to handle summer heat, starting from Cool Biz initiated by Koizumi. No need to follow customs that's not necessary.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Due to the nature of their work, however, the officers need to be ready to deal with potentially violent criminals, and thus they’re not allowed to carry their beverages in their hands like the Canadian officers were photographed doing.

Perhaps they can send the officers to my advanced tactics seminar, "Dropping: The Art of Quickly Releasing Objects From Your Hand."

8 ( +9 / -1 )

. *little over a month ago, the Japanese Internet was shocked by a photo of two Canadian police officers carrying Starbucks coffees while on patrol, since such relaxed behavior would be unthinkable for law enforcement officers in Japan*

Ok..the J Internet users dont get out much obviously , but they are " shocked" by it?...in the age of SMN, Twitter, Insta and all the rest?

Then again relaxed behavior by officials is almost a crime here :).

And how hard is it to drop a cup of coffee during those all so frequent times Jcops unexpectedly encounter " violent criminals". Cmon.

Wonder what kind of reaction would photos of some of the heavily tattoed cops and customs officers that i often see as soon as i get off a plane back in the old country elicit.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Cops on the beat in Canada and most other countries go out on the streets to cafes, restaurants, donut shops, not just for sustenance, but for reasons of law enforcement -- to keep an eye on the people and society around them.

Japanese cops eat and drink in solitude and in private, so if a crime or problem were to occur nearby they wouldn't know about it til someone else reported it and precious time would be lost.

However, Japanese people, given the national character, get peeved when they see workers, particularly the ones in public service, not in a constant state of stoic seriousness, regardless of how effective they might be.

A former civil servant once wrote that he was reprimanded for returning from a vacation - with a sun tan. LOL. Appearances are everything in Japan.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I e always thought that J-cops were automatons but I’m happy to be proved wrong....

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Camelbaks have been around for what, 30 years? They even come in black...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Break out the Strong Zero!!!!   Sure a few cans of chuhai will improve policing here no end.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japanese employers dont really care about effectiveness, productivity, or even profits.

Many go out of their way to make employees more uncomfortable to give it a more “work” feel.

At my previous employer, because they refuse air conditioning in the summer (except for the executive offices and client meeting rooms of course) some employees brought fans to their desk. They were severely punished for “stealing the company’s electricity”

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Was once told “No whistling!” by a smug looking halfwit in the hallway upon arriving to work in an upbeat mood. Swear on my mothers grave, some of these guys are straight out of a comic book. Wouldn’t believe it unless I’d seen it with my own eyes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Even a polite cabbie asked me for permission once if he could take a sip of water while waiting for the light to change. I was shocked that he would have to ask permission for acting 'normal.'

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Why wouldn't they have a hydration pack when on walking patrols?

Just imagine what Japanese would think if they learned it is common for cops to get free coffee at diners. Not the fancy coffees, but a simple cup that gets brewed all day. Talking with the managers and owners is called "police work." The people living and working in the neighborhood know things that the local police should know too.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Given the stigma of colored beverages as discretionary, leisure-time drinks

Do people talk like this in real life?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You will be shocked to learn that house moving workers wear diapers as they are not allowed to answer to the call of nature while work is going on. Was saw a 0123 guy hide behind a shrub in full view of those around to hastily change his diaper and even the pants.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If I was a shop owner, I would welcome any cop into my shop, he or she could walk around when ever they wanted, its a nice deterrent for the local scum and it cheap security too!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I was shocked by the photo as well. Back in the day the RCMP would always park their cars at Tim Horton's, and stay there for half their shift. I only ever saw them drink coffee costing less then a twoonie. pay mustve gone up.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have seen the local police car in at the 24/7 petrol station, its there or one of them on a regular basis, I suppose its a officer who's on night shift are taking a brake, the up side is if the local scum is thinking about committing a crime at the petrol station, he might be thinking twice as the cop are there regular, if cops are pro active IE walking the beat going into to shops talking to shop owners i can have an affect on crime reduction, so I think its good that j cops are allowed to drink on duty they should be allowed to have snacks as well.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites