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Abe stays at his home instead of official residence, creating a gossip

Abe stays at his home instead of official residence, creating a gossip

Posted September. 06, 2017 08:51,   

Updated September. 06, 2017 10:07


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is criticized for sticking to commute to the prime minister’s office even in an urgent situation that North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test over Japan. The prime minister did not move into the official residence and has been commuting from his private home in Shibuya, a luxury residential neighborhood, since he took the office at the end of 2012.

The Tokyo Shimbun reported on Tuesday that Democratic Party lawmaker Kazunori Yamanoi, chairman of the Diet Affairs Committee, pointed out the fact that Abe visited both private resident and his office twice on Sunday when North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test at a countermeasure meeting between ruling and opposition parties, which was held at the previous day, citing that there was a problem in crisis management.

On that day, the prime minister returned to his home after having a phone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump in the morning. However, he came back to the office to preside a National Security Council meeting after hearing the news of nuclear test. He then returned to his home and came back to the office again in the middle of the night and made calls to Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

As for the answer of not moving into the official residence, Abe explained that staying at home made him feel more comfortable and helped to maintain the health of body and mind, and that it took only 15 minutes to the office by car. Some argued that he failed to move into the official resident due to the rumor that it was haunted. Abe appeared on a TV show in 2013 and said that he heard from former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori that he saw ghost.   

The Japanese prime minister stayed at the official residence on Aug. 25 and 28, before and after North Korea fired a missile on Aug. 26. If the prime minister stays at the official residence, taking a prompt action is possible as the residence is connected to the prime minister’s office internally. Hence, many in Japan argued that the security authority detected a potential missile launch, but missed the symptom of the sixth nuclear test.

Won-Jae Jang peacechaos@donga.com