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Rugby: All Blacks head coach Hansen serves as police chief for day in Japan

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen, left, serves as a one-day honorary chief of a police station in southwestern Japan, where his team is training to secure a third successive Rugby World Cup title. (Kyodo)

BEPPU, Japan (Kyodo) -- New Zealand coach Steve Hansen on Thursday served as a one-day honorary chief of a police station in southwestern Japan, where his team is training to secure a third successive Rugby World Cup title.

    Hansen said in an address to police officers in the hot spring resort city of Beppu that ensuring safety is crucial for Japan to attract even more visitors as it prepares for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

    "Hopefully, many, many people will come back as tourists and help the commercial side of the economics of Japan," said Hansen, a former police officer.

    After the speech, Hansen took to the streets around JR Beppu Station, calling on local residents and foreign tourists to abide by traffic rules.

    At a tourist information center, he handed out booklets explaining Japanese regulations to foreigners.

    The All Blacks, who have won the Rugby World Cup three times, defeated South Africa 23-13 in their Pool B opener in Yokohama on Saturday.

    Japan is the first Asian country to host the Rugby World Cup, which started on Sept. 20 and will conclude Nov. 2.

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