Subject: E. Timor Police Reform Progressing After Japan's 1-yr Mission

East Timor police reform progressing after Japan's 1-yr mission

TOKYO, Feb. 6 (Kyodo News) -- Reform of police management in East Timor is proceeding gradually, a Japanese police officer said Wednesday after the completion of Japan's one-year mission in support of the U.N.-led peacekeeping operation there.

''I hope local people will be able to oversee police management on their own as soon as possible,'' Kunitaka Tomita, a 45-year-old chief superintendent, said in a press conference at the National Police Agency.

With the return of the two police officers -- Tomita and a liaison officer -- the agency's support for the U.N. Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste has been completed. The NPA's mission started in February 2007.

In East Timor, the Japanese team had advised the police sector of the U.N. mission on rebuilding and training the local police force since replacing the first delegate team in August 2007.

The team also helped craft a handbook instructing local police concerning procedures for arrest and detention.

Hirokazu Tsutsui, a 50-year-old superintendent who had given Japanese ''judo'' lessons at a local police school, said, ''I hope judo will take root there and the police become strong.''

East Timor gained independence from Indonesia in May 2002 with the assistance of the United Nations, but slipped into unrest last year when nearly 600 disgruntled soldiers of the 1,400-member army were fired.

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