Shibuya revelers face New Year’s curbs

Kyodo

Tokyo police say they will restrict public access around the main intersection outside Shibuya Station between 10 p.m. Dec. 31 and 2 a.m. Jan. 1 to prevent a crush of New Year’s revelers forming for the countdown, a recurrent problem in recent years.

The Metropolitan Police Department imposed a similar restriction in June on people gathering at the intersection after watching the Asian qualifier for the FIFA soccer World Cup.

The police said Wednesday they are stepping up their guard for New Year’s and will send several hundred riot police officers.

According to a security plan, access will be limited to people who have business in the area, with the rest directed to alternate routes. Entrances to subway stations in the area will also be closed.

The so-called DJ cop, a riot police officer who gained fame for calming young revelers outside the station with cajoling comments after the big World Cup match in June, will not make an appearance this time around, according to the Tokyo police.