Is the Japanese prime minister’s official residence haunted by ghosts, including the restless spirit of a former prime minister who was assassinated there? And, if so, are the ghosts the reason that the new Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe hasn’t moved in even after five months in office?
The 11-room brick residence has a great location in central Tokyo, and Abe took office in December. The five-month delay is reportedly the longest that any Japanese prime minister has gone without moving in. As the delay stretches on, the Japanese public has demanded answers.
Last week, opposition lawmaker Ken Kagaya sent a letter asking Shinzo Abe to answer the question of whether or not he believed the ghosts were there and if he was delaying his move to avoid the spirits of the dead.
On Friday, Abe’s cabinet fired back with a terse reply: “We do not assent to what was asked.”
Say what? Talk about your lost in translation!
Is that “no comment” in English? Or is it his way of denying that he believes in ghosts?
Agence France-Presse and Reuters said that it meant that Abe hadn’t moved in for logistical reasons.
But that doesn’t seem to make much sense. As it is, the Japanese Prime Minister must take a 15-minute motorcade journey to his office every morning. If he lived in the residence, he could stroll over in a moment or two.
Global Post translated the statement to mean that “We are not aware” of any ghosts.
The last Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihiko Noda, said in 2012 that he hadn’t seen the ghosts during his stay in the residence. “The parliament is much more scary,” he said.
Haunted by ghosts or not, there doesn’t seem to be much hope that Shinzo Abe will be moving into the official Japanese prime minister’s residence any time soon.
[Shinzo Abe photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons]