Japan govt says unaware of ghosts at PM residence - paper

TOKYO Sat May 25, 2013 3:25pm IST

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie pay their respects at a shrine at the Japanese cemetery, dedicated to Japanese soldiers who died in World War Two, in Yangon May 25, 2013. REUTERS/Boo Tee

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie pay their respects at a shrine at the Japanese cemetery, dedicated to Japanese soldiers who died in World War Two, in Yangon May 25, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Boo Tee

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TOKYO (Reuters) - A delay in Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife moving into their official residence, the site of past assasinations, has revived talk of ghosts in the corridors, prompting the government to deny any knowledge of hauntings.

Abe has not moved into the prime minister's official residence for five months since he took power.

Asked by an opposition lawmaker about the reported hauntings, the government issued a formal statement on Friday saying it was not aware of ghost sightings, Asahi newspaper and other media reported.

The residence, formerly the prime minister's office, was built in 1929 and was the site of military rebellions, including in 1932 when then-Prime Minister Tsuyoshi Inukai was assassinated.

Talk of ghosts has long haunted the building, remodelled in the early 2000s. It has served as the official residence for the prime minister and the premier's family since 2005.

Abe has given no explanation for the delay in moving in, but it is not uncommon for the premier to take some time before taking up residence. (Reporting by Linda Sieg and Yoko Kubota; Editing by Ron Popeski)

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