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OSAKA — Osaka Prefectural Police declared Monday an “antisnatching” day in the prefecture and a special campaign was launched to fight crime here.”Let’s work together to wipe out the bad reputation of being the number one (purse-) snatching prefecture in Japan,” said Hirokazu Yamamoto, chief of the Osaka police, during the campaign’s inauguration ceremony Monday morning.About 90 motorcycle cops of the Blue Sky Unit, a special squad organized for the campaign, and public relations cars were present at the ceremony to help raise awareness and caution of the residents.About 6,700 purse-snatching cases were reported in Osaka Prefecture as of the end of August, a 40 percent increase from the same period last year. Osaka police fear the number of such thefts will exceed 10,000 this year, a record, if crimes continue at the current pace.

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