Posted by Rafiq A. Tschannen
TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet yesterday formally denied months-long rumors that the premier had not moved into his official residence over fears the mansion is haunted. The conservative leader took office in December but has yet to move into the 11-room brick home in central Tokyo, the longest holdout among any of his predecessors, according to local media.
Several former prime ministers have reported experiencing unusual phenomena at the mansion which was center-stage for two failed but bloody coups in the 1930s. Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi once told reporters: “I’ve never encountered any ghosts, although I want to see them.” Some first ladies have also refused to live in the mansion over fears its was inhabited by spirits. “There are rumors that the official residence is haunted by ghosts.
Is it true? Does Prime Minister Abe refuse to move to the official residence because of the rumors?” an opposition lawmaker asked in a letter to Abe’s Cabinet. The lawmaker said the decision could delay Abe’s response time in emergencies because the residence is next door to his executive office.