Tokyo Police to Increase Presence in Shibuya ahead of Japan’s World Cup Debut

Tokyo authorities will deploy 800 crowd control officers in the Shibuya area ahead of the World Cup kick-off game between Japan and Cote d’Ivoire in anticipation of some overzealous soccer fans.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police said they are expecting riots and vandalism across Shibuya and will deploy officers around the main scramble intersection outside Shibuya Station, as well as in the Hachiko statue square and several adjacent streets where bars and cafes are likely to play the live match.

Police presence will last from 10 am, when the match kicks off, until 2 pm, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department said Wednesday.

“We expect considerable congestion with soccer fans, shoppers and tourists,” the spokesman said. “We will take necessary security measures to ensure smooth traffic flow, control the congestion and prevent trouble.”

The Shibuya crossing is an iconic tourist spot and could be crowded with rowdy fans during international matches like the World Cup. The police said they will direct soccer fans not to flock to the area. Authorities have no plans yet to cordon off areas or enforce traffic controls, the spokesman said.

Image: “Tokyo from the Air” by Trey Ratcliff/Flickr

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