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A number of Japanese police officers responsible for safeguarding the Paralympics have been labelled '"embarrassing" after being stood down amidst allegations of shameful conduct in Tokyo.
According to reports, around 40 officers have been sent home in disgrace after accusations of getting drunk, engaging in physical fights with residents and visiting a brothel.
The officers were specifically sent to the Japanese capital from the Yamanashi Prefecture to provide support to local police throughout the Paralympic Games – despite the absence of spectators in venues.
A strict 'no alcohol' policy was imposed on all officers, but that measure was seemingly ignored on Saturday night as the force took it upon themselves to arrange a night out.
And despite Tokyo having restrictions in place designed to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, after the city hit record numbers of daily cases in August, officers were reported to have left their accommodation before getting embroiled in heated confrontations with members of the public.
A melee is said to have broken out by a train station in the Sumida district of the city, and although no one suffered serious injuries, police were called to the scene and later ironically confirmed that they had detained some of their intoxicated colleagues.
The Asahi newspaper also reports that a number of the police officers are reported to have visited a brothel in Tokyo.
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The entire 40-strong unit was subsequently sent back to the Yamanashi Prefecture on Monday after their reported behaviour.
Speaking to the UTY Yamanashi television station, Japanese police said the reports are currently under investigation and that "measures" will be taken against any officer found to have engaged in inappropriate behaviour.
The officers have been widely accused of bringing shame to the city of Tokyo, which has been under the spotlight for much of the summer during the Olympics and Paralympics Games.
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Many Japanese residents are already outraged that both events have gone ahead despite the rising threat of Covid-19 – with protests taking place in the build-up to the Summer Games.
"It's embarrassing that they got drunk, went out and made a fuss with members of the public," one local resident commented, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
"I know their job is sometimes stressful but it's the same for everybody and they need to follow the rules as well," said another, while a third echoed the sentiments of many in Tokyo by stating: "They have brought shame on their colleagues in Yamanashi. They should be ordered to retire from the force."
- Tokyo 2020 Paralympics
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