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Tokyo cops begin year-end patrol of Kabukicho

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Friday started a special 15-day patrol of the Kabukicho red-light district of Shinjuku Ward to ensure the safety of year-end revelers, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Dec. 20).

Through January 3, law enforcement will mobilize 26,000 officers to the district in an effort to restrict convenience store robberies, overcharging by clubs and bank transfer fraud.

In September, Shinjuku Ward began implementing a ban on street soliciting for bars, clubs and karaoke boxes. The move came following a jump in incidents involving rip-off scams committed by street touts, especially in Kabukicho.

The initiative is aimed particularly at times when first shrine visits of the year occur and festivities surrounding New Year’s Day.

On Friday evening, the Superintendent General of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, Yasuhiko Nishimura, participated in a 30-minutes inspection of Kabukicho.

“Will will do our best to maintain public order to ensure that the residents of Tokyo are able to greet the New Year safely,” said the superintendent.