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Special edition of World Police Band Concert held in Tokyo amid pandemic

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Band and its Color Guard, MEC, perform during a special edition of the World Police Band Concert at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan in Japan's capital on the evening of Nov. 19, 2021. (Mainichi/Yoshinori Matsuda)

TOKYO -- A special edition of the World Police Band Concert, an event fostering exchange between the public and police through music, was held here on Nov. 19, with a colorful performance from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Band and video performances from police bands in Singapore, Malaysia, the United States and France.

    The 25th edition of the concert, staged at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan's main hall in the capital, marked the first time in two years for the event to be held, after it was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    The World Police Band Concert has been held in Japan and cities overseas since 1996, when inaugural performances were staged in Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture, with The Mainichi Newspapers Co. as the main organizer. This year a parade that is usually held in tandem with the concert was canceled, and the event was staged as a "special edition" for the first time, with only the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Band performing live.

    The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Band's numbers included the theme from "Around the World in 80 Days," and "Jamaica Farewell," while the band's Color Guard, known as "MEC," danced to the applause of spectators.

    Video performances from the four bands from overseas, the Singapore Police Force Band, the N.Y.P.D. Police Band, the Royal Malaysia Police Band, and La Musique des Gardiens de la Paix de Paris, were displayed on a large screen, giving a glimpse of each band's unique character.

    Marking the finale was "Sekai no omawarisan" (World policemen), a march with a lyrical melody that the audience clapped in time to.

    (Japanese original by Nana Hayashida, Tokyo City News Department)

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