'Running police' to take part in Tokyo Marathon as security precaution


A special squad of "running police" will join 36,000 participants in the Tokyo Marathon on Feb 22. The 64 officers, in eight teams, will run alongside participants to ensure their safety from possible terrorist attacks, interference from spectators and other during safety hazards, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department said Wednesday.

The running police will be backed up by conventional roadside security, the police said.

The 64 officers will be divided into eight teams with two officers on each team. Each pair will run 10 kilometers before stopping and allowing a second team to take over for the following 10 kilometers and again at the 20-kilometer mark.

The special officers will be wearing shirts with the letters "POLICE" on the front and back, and will be fitted with a baton and whistle. They will have a small security camera fixed to the side of their caps, from which footage will be continuously transmitted back to police headquarters.

Moves to bolster security at the Tokyo Marathon followed the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing which left three dead and many others wounded. In their first step toward ensuring safety for participants and spectators alike, Tokyo Metropolitan Police increased the number of officers during the 2014 Tokyo Marathon by over 1,400, resulting in a force of 4,400 officers on duty.

Deputy Commissioner Ryoji Taneya stressed the need to intensify anti-terror measures as the global threat continues to increase.

© Japan Today

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Japan is serious indeed about preventing terrorism in the wake of recent events. Pretty well thought-out plan by Tokyo Police. Keep Japan safe.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

nice to see the effort, but i wonder what use will a baton and whistle be against a terrorist?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The 64 officers, in eight teams, will run alongside participants to ensure their safety from possible terrorist attacks

I'm sure these guys will deter any terrorist....

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Seems a bit weird to me, where else can we expect these extra cops, can I have one patrol around the perimeter of my place & when nothing terrorist like is going down they can pick weeds or harvest some of my veggies for me..........................

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The J-cops, eh? Plenty of body searches for female participants?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nice but shouldn't she be wearing long pants?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Each group running 10 kilometers!!! Hmmm!

Timing and spacing are problems which come to my mind, especially among spread out runners later in the races.

Also, do police guys run in the girls' marathon?

Then two knackered cops with whistle, baton and webcam have to face off the evil might of ISIS and Boko Haram? Maybe dealing with drunken oyajis, or weird psychos attacking with knives, which are a calculable threat in public places in Japan sufficiently high a goal for this policy.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

OMG, lets spread fear where there is no fear, what a waste of our tax money

3 ( +6 / -3 )

What is the logic of having them running? Wouldn't it be more logical to have them on bicycles or motorbikes riding the edges of the course?

Another tick on the 'create an atmosphere' list though I suppose - or should I say 'create an atmosfear'?.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

No doubt, the IS propagandists would desire a "Boston Bomber" style attack on the Tokyo Marathon to scream out in world headlines. This is the post 9/11, post Parisian massacre, post beheading/post prisoner immolation world. Regretful but real.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Police are acting responsibly. If they took no enhanced security measures at all, they'd be criticized. And if an incident were to take place @ the marathon (very unlikely), then the public would blame their local gov. for not doing enough. Its a catch 22 in this society.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Let's hope they will be in shape to do anything when the time comes say 8km later....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

hahahaha the posts in here are funny, thanks for the laughs. In all seriousness, I hope everybody is safe during the race

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's probably more likely that one of Japan's many mentally unstable people will snap, over a terrorist attack. I see the J-cops as a visual deterrent to those folks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm trying to imagine how it would actually work. If they run too quickly, it doesn't seem likely they'll see anything suspicious. If they run too slowly, they could be in the way of other runners because Tokyo marathon is pretty crowded, especially for the first half of the race.

Anyone who thinks these guys will be tired from running 10km obviously is not a runner themselves. The rest of the people are going the full 42!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Aaaah... don't you just love Japan?

"...and will be fitted with a baton and whistle."

Oh, I will feel so safe when I run.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What if one of them wins?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This sounds incredibly pointless. Having police running around accomplishes nothing but publicity. Officers will be distracted by the running itself and already winded which will limit their physical capabilities if something does happen. Having some in plainclothes might make a little more sense, but the usual approach with motorbikes are a much better way of going about it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What? No hard hats? I thought those were mandatory. Even the people removing snow out in the open wear those. The whistle is a nice touch.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In addition to those biker cops that ride out front having cameras perhaps they can mount machine guns like the old TV show I watched as a kid, Rat Patrol!!!

This idea seems pretty silly, but hey as I always say Perception, more important than Reality in Japan!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If any lesson is to be learned from Boston, is that the terrorists will not be running with their heavy explosive backpacks, but instead will form part of the spectator crowd. As such, a policeman running along won't prove even remotely effective.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yes. Out of breath skinny guys with whistles= terrorists stay away. The naievety is astounding. Nothing will happen though; so it will be hailed as being a success.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Did anyone read the full article?

Besides the running guys they are also upping the full police presence by 1400 to 4400.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Besides the running guys they are also upping the full police presence by 1400 to 4400.

And for what? So that the Japanese can feel they're important and part of the international community. Tokyo Marathon is a non-event globally. Nobody cares.

Nothing will happen though; so it will be hailed as being a success.


-4 ( +0 / -4 )


Was waitinfy for a reply like yours.

So what should they do? Nothing no cops at all?

Terrorists attacks are very unpredictable like 9/11, London, Boston Marathon, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well they do know their way around yellow tape.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Possibly Police not telling everyone everything. They are trying to protect the public.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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