Japan's version of secret service agents -- the Security Police -- came out into the open in Tokyo on Saturday (13 September) when they demonstrated their skills in a ceremony at the Metropolitan Police Department.
GV Security police line sup for demonstration to newsmen and CU badge on suit
SV Targets spinning and police mocking firing squad (2 shots)
SV Instructor with police
GV Police shooting at targets and instructor looking on (5 shots)
GV Security police advancing and taking part in mock battle (4 shots)
Initials CL/1700 CL/1717
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Background: Japan's version of secret service agents -- the Security Police -- came out into the open in Tokyo on Saturday (13 September) when they demonstrated their skills in a ceremony at the Metropolitan Police Department.
The Security Police ... like United States Secret Service agents ... made themselves deliberately conspicuous. They wore colourful ties, shirts and SP badges and displayed their pistols prominently.
The force was formed to fight and discourage attacks on leading public figures. This followed an incident in June this year when Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Miki was struck down by a rightist while attending the national funeral for former Prime Minister Eisaku Sato.
The SP -- attached to the Metropolitan Police Department -- guard the Prime Minister, Cabinet members, leaders of political parties and visiting foreign dignitaries.
They are also called in during national political upheavals.
On Saturday, some were called in to quell a demonstration by red-helmeted leftwing extremists who broke through a tight police cordon and tried to storm the Foreign Ministry.
Thousands of uniformed and plain-clothes police were mobilised as a precaution against the demonstrators who were protesting against a Japan-South Korean ministerial meeting which opened in Seoul on Monday (15 September).
Security Police were deployed to protect four Japanese Cabinet ministers who left Tokyo for the talks.