• Kyodo


Tokyo police are planning to honor a riot squad officer who used humor to smoothly direct a crowd of soccer fans last week in the busy Shibuya district after Japan became the first team to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Brazil, officials said Monday.

A senior Tokyo police official said the policeman, who is in his 20s and who has been nicknamed “DJ cop” on the Internet, helped greatly in guiding the crowd and in preventing any injuries during the revelry.

After the national soccer team tied with Australia to qualify for the World Cup at Saitama Stadium last Tuesday, the policeman, who serves as a public relations officer for a riot police unit, told the crowd at the main Shibuya intersection, “If you behave in such a way, you could be issued a yellow card.

“I don’t want to scold you on this happy day,” he said. “Policemen with a stern look are also delighted at Japan qualifying for the World Cup. Let’s celebrate with the spirit of fair play.”

The humorous words struck a chord with fans. They cheered the officer after he called on the revelers to behave well as the “12th member” of the national team.

The policeman, a native of Miyagi Prefecture, has worked crowd control during events such as fireworks displays and New Year’s visits to Shinto shrines. In January, he won first place in the Tokyo police announcing contest. The officer’s name has not been disclosed.