The is an agency administered by the National Public Safety Commission of the Cabinet Office of the Cabinet of Japan, and is the central agency of the Japanese police system, and the central coordinating agency of law enforcement in situations of national emergency in Japan. Unlike comparable bodies such as the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the NPA does not have any operational units of its own except for the Imperial Guard. Instead, its role is to supervise Prefectural police departments and determine general standards and policies; although in national emergencies or large-scale disasters the agency is authorized to take command of Prefectural police departments. As of 2017, the NPA has a strength of approximately 7,800 personnel: 2,100 sworn officers, 900 guards and 4,800 civilian staff.


Police services of the Empire of Japan were placed under complete centralized control with the of the Home Ministry at their core. But after the surrender of Japan, the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers regarded this centralized police system as undemocratic. During the Occupation, the principle of decentralization was introduced by the 1947 Police Law. Cities and large towns had their own , and the was responsible for smaller towns, villages and rural areas. But most Japanese municipalities were too small to have a large police force, so sometimes they were unable to deal with large-scale violence. In addition, excessive fragmentation of the police organization reduced the efficiency of police activities. As a response to these problems, complete restructuring created a more centralized system under the 1954 amended Police Law. All operational units except for the Imperial Guard were reorganized into prefectural police departments for each prefecture, and the National Police Agency was established as the central coordinating agency for these Police Departments.



The is the highest ranking police officer of Japan, regarded as an exception to the regular class structure. For the , the Senior Commissioner is supplemented. The are their staff. The civilian political leadership is provided by the National Public Safety Commission.

Internal Bureaus

Community Safety Bureau

The is responsible for crime prevention, combating juvenile delinquency, and pollution control. This bureau was derived from the Safety Division of the Criminal Affairs Bureau in 1994. * * * * * *

Criminal Affairs Bureau

The is in charge of research statistics and coordination of the criminal investigation of nationally important and international cases. * (Direct reporting divisions) ** ** ** ** ** * ** ** ** **

Traffic Bureau

The is responsible for traffic policing and regulations. This bureau was derived from the (later merged with the Criminal Affairs Bureau; predecessor of the Community Safety Bureau) in 1962 because of the expression indicating a high number of deaths from traffic accidents. * * * *

Security Bureau

The is in charge of the internal security affairs, such as counter-intelligence, counter-terrorism or disaster response. * (Direct reporting divisions) ** ** ** * ** ** After the 1996 Japanese embassy hostage crisis in Peru, the Security Bureau established the Terrorism Response Team where officers liaise with foreign law enforcement and intelligence agencies when Japanese interests or nationals are in danger. It was later reformed to the Terrorism Response Team - Tactical Wing (TRT-2) for Overseas in order to meet with demands to coordinate with foreign police forces in assisting them whenever a terror attack has happened.

Info-Communications Bureau

The supervises police communications systems and combat with cyberterrorism. * * * *

Local Branch Bureaus and Departments

Regional Police Bureaus

There are six , each responsible for a number of prefectures as below: ; : Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, and Fukushima Prefectures ; : Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Niigata, Yamanashi, Nagano, and Shizuoka Prefectures ; : Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Gifu, Aichi, and Mie Prefectures ; : Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, and Wakayama Prefectures ; : Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, and Yamaguchi Prefectures : Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, and Kochi Prefectures ; : Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, and Okinawa Prefectures They are located in major cities of each geographic region. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department and Hokkaido Prefectural Police Headquarters are excluded from the jurisdiction of regional police bureaus. Headed by a Senior Commissioner, each regional police bureaus exercises necessary control and supervision over and provides support services to prefectural police within its jurisdiction, under the authority and orders of NPA's Commissioner General. Attached to each Regional Police Bureaus is a Regional Police School which provides police personnel with education and training required of staff officers as well as other necessary education and training.

Police Communications Departments

Metropolitan Tokyo and the island of Hokkaidō are excluded from the regional jurisdictions and are run more autonomously than other local forces, in the case of Tokyo, because of its special urban situation, and of Hokkaidō, because of its distinctive geography. The National Police Agency maintains police communications divisions in these two areas to handle any coordination needed between national and local forces. In other area, Police Communications Departments are established within each Regional Police Bureaus. * Independent Communications Departments ** **

Subsidiary Organs

* * *

See also

*Police services of the Empire of Japan *Law enforcement in Japan *Public order and internal security in Japan *Fire and Disaster Management Agency


External links

Official website

{{Authority control Category:Cabinet Office (Japan) Category:1954 establishments in Japan Category:Government agencies established in 1954 Category:Law enforcement agencies of Japan Category:National Central Bureaus of Interpol