The Diet passed a bill Wednesday to revise the Police Law to better fight international terrorism, marking the first major reorganization of the National Police Agency in a decade.

The revision, passed by the House of Councilors in a plenary session, provides for a greater role by the agency in the event of terror attacks and creates new departments in the agency.

The change, which takes effect Thursday, will place prefectural police forces across the country under the agency’s direct control if there is a possibility of a terrorist attack, government officials said.

While the debate over the bill has dragged on amid accusations over accounting fraud scandals involving Hokkaido and other prefectural police forces, both ruling bloc and opposition lawmakers agreed to facilitate the bill’s passage after the train bombings in Madrid on March 11. that killed nearly 200 people and wounded 1,700.

Coronavirus banner