Defense Agency, NPA to handle riots, terrorists

The Defense Agency and the National Police Agency have drawn up guidelines for swift coordination between the Self-Defense Forces and police in the event of rioting, terrorist attacks and other emergencies, officials said Thursday.

The guidelines call for the SDF and police to work together at an early stage in any emergency so the military can be deployed quickly if needed, and to confer when police alone are not able to handle a situation, they said.

The SDF and the police would set up a joint command in such an event.

The guidelines back up a law-and-order accord between the two agencies that was updated in 2000 for the first time in 46 years. They define the roles the SDF and police should play, including roadblocks and vehicle checks, guarding key installations, thwarting armed attackers and keeping the public safe.

Maintaining public order in the event of riots or terrorist attacks is primarily the task of the police. The SDF has never been mobilized for such contingencies in the forces’ 50-year history.

Before its revision in 2000, the accord between the agencies defined the roles of police and the SDF primarily in response to riots. The revised agreement covers terrorist threats.

The SDF and police have conducted joint simulation drills in 30 prefectures to deal with such emergencies.