Arts, Culture & Media

Ghosts Rumored to Haunt the Japan Prime Minister's Official Residence

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Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe watches honour guards pass by after a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near Moscow's Kremlin walls April 29, 2013. Abe hopes talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday will revive efforts to end a territorial dispute that has prevented the nations signing a treaty to end World War Two. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS) - RTXZ36H

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REUTERS

Imagine if President Obama refused to return to the White House after his reelection because he thought the place was haunted.

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Well that's the situation Japan finds itself in – sort of.

Five months ago, Shinzo Abe was elected Prime Minister but he has yet to move into Tokyo's White House, the Shusho Kantei.

Many believe Abe's reluctance is because of a belief that the official residence is haunted.

The brick building does have a pretty storied past.

Just three years after being built in 1929, Prime Minister Inukai was assassinated there.

It's also the site of two violent coups.

Even today you can still see bullet holes in the building.

Needless to say, the government is not owning up to the ghostly gossip but the supernatural is on the minds of many Japanese says writer Roland Kelts.

Kelts is the author of Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the US. He divides his time between New York and Tokyo.

  • Kantei_1929.jpg

    Japanese Prime Minister's Residence circa 1929 (photo: wikipedia)

  • creepy1-e1370281849504.jpg

    Minamoto no Yorimitsu Striking at the Ground Spider” by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi. (photo: courtesy of Susan Napier)