Japan is this year’s G 20 host nation and has done a commendable job to arrange the security of the world leaders of group of 20 nations and invited leaders from 8 non-G20 countries, heads of central banks, leaders from international organizations and 7000 journalists coming from all over the world to cover Osaka G 20 Summit.
For Japan, hosting this year’s G20 has proved to be a big challenge. Normally, the host country has at least a full year between summits to prepare and work to get 20 countries – with their very different political and socioeconomic systems – to agree on the issues. But last year’s G 20 Summit held in Buenos Aires was just over six months ago. In addition, the enthronement of the new emperor on May 1 monopolized much of the government’s attention, leaving questions about whether there has been enough time to reach substantive agreements on the agenda issues.
In all the arrangements for the Osaka G 20 Summit, security protocol comes on the top. As world leaders arrive in Osaka for the two-day Group of 20 summit, human security personnel will not suffice to serve to protect the guests and conduct surveillance meeting high standards of security mapping.
Therefore, the Osaka Prefectural Police started to train canine dogs last year in July, with a specialized police dog facility completed in January.
Osaka Prefectural Police are patrolling venues where the G 20 Summit will be held. One of the security officials stated, “the presence of police dogs acts as a deterrence to terrorism, which I hope leads to peace of mind for residents.”
The police dogs are not only patrolling the G 20 Summit venues but also the metro stations of Osaka loop line will be thoroughly patrolled by the trained police dogs. As a precaution, the trash cans and dustbins are sealed and the delivery vans and courier parcels coming to the leading hotels in Osaka where the world leaders are staying will be sniffed by the trained police dogs.
In a dry-run for the G 20 Summit, the police dogs supported security measures during April’s cherry blossom season at the Japan Mint in Osaka, where crowds gather each year to enjoy the flowers. The police dogs at the cherry blossom event proved to be a great success in securing the premises and people who came for sight seeing of beautiful flowers.
On the officers running the security operation of sniffing dogs cited, “the dogs have been raised tough and we have grown to trust them.” The long working hours with the canine dogs, the police officials who are handling the sniffing dogs have developed an unbreakable bond with their “canine partners.”
As G 20 Summit will mark the first time Japan has hosted such a big annual gathering of world leaders and central bank governors, the government of Japan did not want to take any chance. Previously local police commissioned private organizations to provide them with dogs and their handlers, but the potential dangers they face led police to take on the training and development of their dog teams in-house.
“It is always safe and reliable to develop new teams in-house, rather than rely on third party security contractors, thus we decided to build special training facility for sniffing dogs, which was completed in January this year,” said a security official on condition of anonymity.
One of the dogs handler’s said, “I spend more time with the dog than my family,” demonstrating the depth of their connection to dogs under training.
Unlike dogs in the criminal identification unit, which use their noses to track suspects, these canine dogs specialize in “detecting explosives.” They are also trained to help in subduing rescue operations in disaster-hit areas.
Exclusive News Report By: Kanwal Abidi
*Kanwal Abidi is a staff journalist at the The AZB and is a White House Correspondent. She is in Osaka, Japan to cover the trip of President Trump to G20 Summit in Osaka. She tweets at @KANWALanalyst and can be reached at email@example.com