Patrol Strengthened in Tokyo's Shibuya ahead of Halloween


Tokyo, Oct. 29 (Jiji Press)--Local police and authorities are strengthening their patrol activities in Shibuya as the commercial and entertainment district in the Japanese capital is expected to become crowded with mainly young people in Halloween costumes starting this weekend, as always around this time of the year.

This year, vigilance has been increased especially after a man who wore an outfit similar to that of the Joker, the Batman villain, attacked 17 people with a knife on a Tokyo train on last year's Halloween day on Oct. 31. The man, arrested for attempted murder, told investigators that he initially planned to attack crowds of Halloween partygoers.

Aiming to prevent acts that would disturb public peace, the Shibuya Ward government decided to ban street drinking during the night to early morning hours near Shibuya Station from Friday to Tuesday under an ordinance, and put up signs calling on visitors to abide by rules. It plans to deploy some 100 security guards from Saturday to ensure the safety of the crowds.

"Although we will not restrict visits (to Shibuya during the Halloween period), we hope the visitors will observe the rules," said Shibuya Mayor Ken Hasebe.

With restrictions on movement related to COVID-19 having been eased in Japan, it is hard to predict how big this year's Halloween crowds will be in the Shibuya district, where many people in costumes gather around the iconic scramble crossing near Shibuya Station during the Halloween season.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press