Special Operations and Counterterrorist
Special Assault Team (SAT) members
practice rappelling from a helicopter.
Counterterrorism Measures, Present and Future
Special Assault Team (SAT)
The Police established Special Units in the Metropolitan
Police Department (MPD) and Osaka Prefectural Police
Headquarters after the Dacca incident broke out on
Sept. 28, 1977. To deal effectively with recent serious
situations of terrorism, the Special Assault Team
(SAT) were organized in the MPD, Osaka and five other
prefectural police headquarters on April 1, 1996.
The SATs are to deal effectively with hijackings,
hostage-taking and other serious emergency cases.
Their members totaling about 200 throughout the country
are highly skilled in the technique to round up suspects
while ensuring the safety of hostages.
Additionally, during the The Denver Summit of the
Eight in 1997, Japan proposed the advancement of cooperation
on enhancing capacity to cope with hostage taking
among the Summit participants, basically on a bilateral
basis. Japan, advancing cooperation with other countries,
intends to increase the capacities of the Special
Assault Team in the police authorities by improving
its equipment and material and implementing practical
Article: Japan Plans Greater Counterguerrilla
Japan is planning to develop a greater capability
of dealing with the threat of terrorists and guerrillas.
The Japan Defense Agency plans to budget for this
effort beginning in the year 2000, and it will also
stress the need for defense against terrorist groups
that use chemical and biological weapons. According
to press reports, Japanese military representatives
will travel to the United States to learn more about
creating and equipping counterguerrilla forces. The
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force is also creating a
research center that will develop a counterguerrilla
manual, address the protection of Japan's critical
infrastructure and examine other associated issues.
The North Korean press reacted quickly to these developments
by noting that Japan is "plotting to have its
Self-Defense Force officers learn the methods of special
operations by sending them to the United States".
The North Korean press also characterized the homeland
defense plan as the "Japanese reactionaries'
criminal maneuver to start an anti-Repulbic aggressive
war at any time by expanding the Self-Defense Force's
area of responsibility and by fully completing preparations
for a war of aggression". What was probably the
most provocative for the North Koreans were reports
of an upcoming Self-Defense Force exercise in 2000,
in which the "guerrillas" are envisioned
to be North Korean terrorists infiltrated into Japan.