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I read the following sentence:

本月,一对中国姐妹在日本横滨遇害的事件引发了各界关注。据中国驻日本大使馆消息,案件发生后,日本警方以涉嫌非法拘禁罪逮捕一名30多岁的日本男子,7月21日下午,警方以涉嫌遗弃遗体罪再次逮捕该犯罪嫌疑人。目前警方已将最新进展通知遇害者亲属。

At first I didn’t know the word 警方 so I didn’t understand the meaning. Later I found it is police but then what is the difference from 警察? Can I just replace 警方 with 警察 and the sentence still conveys the same meaning?

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方 has the meaning of 'side'

警察 can be the collective noun for the entire police force or a singular noun for one policeman.

警方 means '警察方面' (the police side). It can only be a collective noun.

More example:

中國 (China) - 中方 (the Chinese side/ The Chinese government)

日本 (Japan) - 日方 (The Japanese side/ The Japanese government)

中日雙方同意 (Both China's and Japan's government agree)

In "警方以涉嫌遗弃遗体罪再次逮捕该犯罪嫌疑人。" '警方' refers to 'the police (department)'

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  • Thanks so in this case it is replacable with 警察, right? – Blaszard Jul 22 '17 at 9:38
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    Since it is the police department's official position, using the collective noun "警方" can avoid confusion. If you wrote "警察以涉嫌遗... " it could also mean " a few policemen" instead of the entire police department. – Tang Ho Jul 22 '17 at 9:47
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    On the other hand, if you said: "警察到達現場" , It could mean a single policeman or a team of police arrives to the scene. Logically speaking, it can't be the whole police force. However, you can still say: "警方到達現場"-- which mean ' "警方(人員)到達現場" - " (personnel of ) the police department arrive" with '人員' omitted. – Tang Ho Jul 22 '17 at 10:03
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警察 refers to a police or two or three or more.it refers to the officer or the group of officer,stress they are person.警方 stress it is the goverment institution,and official position.so you cant use 警察 instead of 警方.cause 警察 it is the person doing the exactly thing of what a police should do,like arrest a man,and 警方 the institution is operating the system or an act

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