Metropolitan Police Board, c. 1910.



1910sArchitectureGovernmentNotable Landmark
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“The Board of the Metropolitan Police”, Marunouchi, Tokyo, c. 1910.

“Searching for a Western police force to copy, the Japanese picked the French model, a logical choice: it was famous, it was highly centralized, it performed a wide range of administrative functions (including preventive policing and political surveillance). Kawaji Toshiyoshi, a member of the inspection team that went to Europe in 1872, recommended in his report that a European-style Home Ministry centralize all police functions and that Tokyo be given a Keichicho (Metropolitan Police Board), financed by the central government with a chief directly responsible to the Home Minister.

“The board should emulate the broad range of administrative duties of the Paris model, including surveillance of political foes, and it should copy the French police power of using a large number of regulations to administer fines and limited jail sentences. This model was adopted in January 1874, with Kawaji as the chief of the Metropolitan Police Board.”

Janus-Faced Justice: Political Criminals in Imperial Japan, Richard H. Mitchell, 1992

Metropolitan Police Board (right) and Imperial Theatre (left), Marunouchi, Tokyo, c. 1910.

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