Japanese man held after entering emperor’s residence: Reports

A bird's eye photo shows ginko tree glowing golden yellow in autumn leaves season at the Akasaka Guest House, in MinatoWard, Tokyo on Nov. 23, 2020. ( The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images )

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — A 29-year-old man was arrested on Sunday after allegedly breaking into the residence of Japanese Emperor Hirohito in Tokyo, where he was said to have stayed for two hours before being discovered, local media reported.

The Fuji News Network (FNN) news channel reported that the man, who has not been named, broke into the normally heavily guarded apartment Akasaka residential complex from a nearby guesthouse on Saturday night.

The station, citing police officials, reported that the Imperial Guard arrested him after breaking into a guest house that was not under surveillance at the time. According to police, he had gained access through a window in the front door of the normally unguarded house.

The suspect told police he wanted to meet members of the Imperial family during the break-in, which was also reported by TBS News. Local media reported that no one was injured in the incident, but there were no details on whether the man had met the royals. Authorities did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and local police declined to comment.

Naruhito ascended the chrysanthemum throne in 2019 after his father abdicated, and his wife, Empress Masako, delivered traditional New Year greetings at the palace on Monday, canceling her usual appearance to avoid crowds as the country battled the third wave of COVID-19.

The incident is not the first time an intruder has breached security at the palace. A Japanese man was arrested last year for swimming into the moat of the Imperial Palatinate after climbing the outer wall and swimming through the cordoned-off area.

In recent years, Japanese and foreigners have been jailed for swimming in moats, according to various reports, including a Briton who did so naked.