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NPA chief orders final security checks ahead of World Cup.

TOKYO, April 30 Kyodo

National Police Agency (NPA) chief Setsuo Tanaka on Tuesday ordered police nationwide to finalize countermeasures for terrorism and hooligans for the upcoming World Cup soccer finals, agency officials said.

Tanaka gave the order during a meeting on security measures at the NPA, which gathered officers from the agency and police headquarters from the 10 host prefectures. The soccer finals will be co-hosted by Japan and South Korea from May 31 to June 30.

''We must do everything to secure the safety of the players and audience,'' Tanaka told them, referring to the possibility of terrorism.

He also urged the police to anticipate various scenarios and reexamine them in detail.

So far, the NPA has decided to establish an ''information center'' within the agency to gather information on hooligans who may arrive from abroad.

Japanese police officers will also closely work with foreign counterparts called ''spotters,'' who can identify hooligans, and deployed police squads with new riot gear.

On antiterrorism measures, the NPA also aims to secure aviation safety by banning flights around stadiums where the soccer matches will be held.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:May 6, 2002
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