The 4th Division Police Riot Squad, located in Tachikawa, started their own baseball team on Wednesday, picking members with Koshien (Japan National High School Baseball Tournament) experience and with plans to use the physical strength cultivated in training to rock corporate teams in the Tokyo area.
Team coach, assistant inspector Akira Nakase, boasts Koshien experience as a pitcher on the Nihon University 3rd High School team. Many of the 18 players participated in Koshien on teams such as Seiko Gakuin, Chiba Keizai University High School and Chiba's Hakuryo High School.
The uniforms are based on the same dark blue as riot squad uniforms, with the police mascot "Pipo-kun" emblazoned on the left arm. During practice, a decidedly policeman-like "Roger!" can be heard across the field in response to the coach.
Looking forward to next year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference, police representatives said, "I think the teamwork and judgement skills cultivated through baseball will come in handy for security at the conference."
The team still faces problems, such as the fact that they can only practice once or twice per week and that they don't own a field on which hardball can be practiced.
Said Nakase, "We're essentially starting from square one, but despite the limited practice time I think we can create a team with the cooperation of all the players."© News reports