JAPANESE police have arrested a man who allegedly spent two hours in the palace complex of the country’s Emperor Naruhito.
The 29-year old man reportedly snuck into the heavily guarded Akasaka Palace, the Tokyo residence of Japan’s royal family, via a guesthouse located adjacent to the complex.
He reportedly spent two hours in the palace before being spotted and detained by Japan’s Imperial Guard near the chambers of Princess Yuriko, the elderly great-aunt of reigning Emperor Naruhito.
According to AFP, police say the man claimed he had made the daring intrusion with the hope of meeting members of Japan’s royal family. Nobody was injured in the incident, which is not the first time the country’s tight royal security has been breached.
In May 2020, a Japanese man daringly swam across the Imperial Palace’s moat to scale an outer wall and enter parts of the grounds forbidden from public before being arrested. Both Japanese and foreign nationals have been held after swimming across the moat over the years, including a British citizen who did so naked.
Emperor Naruhito assumed the Chrysanthemum Throne in 2019 after his father abdicated. He and his wife, Empress Masako, gave their traditional New Year’s greeting on Friday by video message for the first time due to Japan’s ongoing battle with its third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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