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The National Police Agency has announced a plan to set up security camera networks in 15 residential areas in 14 prefectures, with 25 cameras installed in each area. The police already have 363 security cameras in operation at busy shopping and entertainment districts across the nation.

The agency hopes that the new networks will go into operation around January 2010. The operation of the equipment and the management of image data will be entrusted to volunteer groups of residents. But the agency may be too hasty. Some people fear the arrival of a so-called surveillance society, in which people keep watch on each other through security cameras.

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