On Wednesday, March 25, 2015 I noticed that the local police box, or “koban,” is closed and boarded up. This comes after the Kosei Hospital on the same corner was closed last September, the corner of Nakano Dori and Hongo Dori. Then the next day, on Thursday, March 26, 2015 I noticed some workers there appearing to be starting some demolition work. What was it? I don’t know, maybe just disconnecting the electricity, or something. A long time ago that police box stopped being manned on a daily basis by uniformed police and was instead manned only occasionally by uniformed volunteers. I don’t know what their authority and duties were, but it was a budget-cutting, money-saving step taken by the National Police Agency in response to the declining neighbourhood policing needs of the slowly changing demographic situation - a shrinking and aging population, and subsequent shrinking revenue stream.
There are a couple active police boxes remaining in my neighborhood. The nearest is at the Minamidai crossing a few hundred meters south of here on Nakano Dori. The other is a few hundred meters west on Hongo Dori.