• Kyodo

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Two British men who flew to Japan for the upcoming World Cup soccer finals were refused entry at Narita airport because their names were on a “hooligan list,” and they are to be deported soon, immigration officials said Monday.

The two, both 34, were detained after arriving at Narita airport Sunday on a Turkish airliner from Istanbul because their names were found on a list of some 200 alleged hooligans that immigration authorities obtained from a foreign police intelligence organization.

The officials said they have ordered the two to leave Japan and they will soon be deported. The 2002 World Cup, cohosted by Japan and South Korea, begins Friday and ends June 30.

The two were detained in a room in the airport for people who are denied entry to Japan. The men said they came to see soccer matches in Japan, the officials said.

It is the first case of alleged hooligans being denied entry to Japan.

The refusal was made under an immigration law revision last year that allows Japan to bar people likely to use violence or cause disorder in connection with international events.

Also on Monday, about 30 “hooligan spotters” from four countries arrived at Narita to help prevent incidents of violence and disorder during the World Cup, the National Police Agency said.

The spotters, from Britain, Germany and other countries, are security personnel who specialize in identifying known violent soccer fans.

They will work in cooperation with police during the tournament, patrolling near stadiums and busy downtown areas around and on the days that matches are held.

They will also help with customs work at Narita airport and at Kansai International Airport near Osaka to prevent known hooligans from entering the country.

A total of 100 spotters will come to Japan to help out during the tournament.

‘Your best until the end’

The chief of the National Police Agency ordered police squads Monday to do their best to ensure security at the upcoming World Cup soccer finals.

“Recognizing that the duty of ensuring security is so important that the Japanese police are staking their dignity on it, I hope you will use all your knowledge and do your best until the end,” Setsuo Tanaka told a Tokyo meeting of prefectural police chiefs.

Tanaka asked officers heading the 47 prefectural police forces to personally visit areas where the matches are being held to sort out problems.

The 2002 World Cup soccer finals, cohosted by Japan and South Korea, begin Friday and end June 30.

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