Japan’s prime minister Fumio Kishida said he hasn’t seen any of the ghosts that reportedly haunt his official residence.
The official residence of the Japanese prime minister has been empty for nine years, all because of rumours that it is haunted.
Murder, plots and a vomiting American president are said to have plagued the Sori Kotei building in the past, but Kishida doesn’t seem to have had any problems. Following his first night at the building, the prime minister was asked if he has seen any of the building’s famous ghosts.
I slept soundly yesterday. I haven’t seen any, yet.
Kishida explained that his move was a practical one: ‘I decided to move because I think it would be beneficial for me to concentrate on my public duties.’
The residence was designed by architect Muraji Shimomoto, following the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake. It is nearly 55,800 square feet, and quickly became a site of violence; in 1932, an attempted coup led to the assassination of prime minister Tsuyoshi Inukai at the building.
Then, in 1936 a faction of the Imperial Army killed several senior officials in another attempted coup.
Since then, it has been speculated that the residence is haunted. One former prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, was reportedly so worried about the haunted house he had an exorcism carried out before he moved into the building in 2001.
In 2011, prime minister Yoshihiko Noda was the last official before Kishida to brave the residence.
Noda, however, said that ‘parliament is much more scary’ than the building.