I know that they both refer to some sort of police station but I don't know if they are interchangeable, if they mean the exact same thing,etc

1 Answer 1


They mean the same thing.

They started using 交番所 to call places where police officers were staying, alternating (交) turn by turn (番). Then the official name was changed to 派出所. And some 25~ years ago, they changed it back to 交番.

Semantically, both are referring to the same thing.

However some expressions such as 警備派出所 started being used when 派出所 was the official name, so it kind of never changed and you would not normally interchange the words in those cases.

  • 2
    – chocolate
    Dec 9, 2018 at 2:15

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