Japanese police: don’t they have something better to do?


You’ve seen them in front of police stations.


And outside neighborhood police boxes.


Maybe you’ve seen them in busy train stations up on a box looking fierce. Don’t you wonder why Japanese police always seem to be standing around?

That was the question posed to me by one of my readers in The Japan Times.  There is, of course, a reason. Read about it in my March 21 column.

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2 Responses to Japanese police: don’t they have something better to do?

  1. TonyJ2 says:

    Alice, thanks for the detail on this. I was just in Sendai for the world Conference in Disaster Risk Reduction this week, and on my route from my hotel to the venues I passed by a Koban and each time their was an officer on duty. Now I understand and appreciate the role. And for good measure, at another Koban I went in and got my directions sorted out.
    While I appreciate the difficulty in measuring the value of this approach, many such community focused activities don’t need to have economic or output indicators. Feelings or preceptions are valuable for community cohesion and connectedness.

  2. Parry says:

    Dear Alice : Thank you very much for the article ! Appreciate very much and love reading all your anecdotes. TonyJ2 made a very valuable point; many of todays government administrators tend to discount the worth of these activities. These activities should not be directly attempted to be measured by a dollars and cents approach

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