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The Metropolitan Police Department’s band is scheduled to leave Japan Sept. 25 to participate in police band contests to be held in France and Spain.

The MPD said its musicians would be performing abroad for the first time since the band was inaugurated in 1948. The group consists of 66 members under band leader Hisatoshi Muta. Sixteen of them are female guards who will be performing drill routines.

In Tokyo last September, police bands from seven countries participated. This year, the first concert will be held Sept. 27 in Paris, and the second in Madrid on Sept. 30.

The MPD music band was derived from the former Imperial Japanese Army Music Band, which was instructed by French musician Charles Leroux. As part of their routine, the band will play “Fusoka,” a piece Leroux composed for the concert in Paris. On Sept. 28 the band will join the Paris police band and march to the Eiffel Tower.

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