Over 100 Japanese Police Officers To Run Alongside The Olympic Torch

jprobe

When the Olympic torch leaves the starting point for Saturday’s relay in Nagano (pictured above), it will have a very large force of policemen protecting it:

NAGANO, Japan, April 23 (AP) – (Kyodo)—Each torchbearer for the Japan leg of the Beijing Olympic torch relay on Saturday will be encircled by five riot police force members donning sportswear and they in turn will be surrounded by around 100 uniform police officers who will form two columns on each side, police sources said Wednesday.

Under the plan envisaged by Nagano prefectural police, two Chinese administrators of the flame will also be running along the torchbearer in the event taking place in Nagano City. When the runners stop to pass along the flame, the five riot police officers will secure the area, the sources said.

The Japanese police are planning to reject a Chinese request to send security guard runners, the sources said.

A police official said that while the planned arrangement may hinder the view of spectators on the street, it is intended to ensure security for the relay, which has faced protests against China’s rule of Tibet.

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