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Japanese PM Definitely Not Afraid of Ghosts

Cabinet says mansion not haunted ... but he still hasn't moved in
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2013 9:55 AM CDT
Japanese PM Definitely Not Afraid of Ghosts
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe waves on his arrival at Yangon airport in Myanmar, May 24, 2013.   (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

(Newser) – Here's a press release you don't have to issue every day. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe still hasn't moved into his official residence in Tokyo, and his Cabinet today released a formal statement assuring the public that it wasn't because the place is haunted, the AFP reports. The 11-room brick mansion has a spooky reputation; some former prime ministers have reported unusual phenomena there, and some first ladies have publicly refused to move in for that reason.

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But no prime minister has stayed away from the place as long as Abe, who came into his position in December. An opposition lawmaker tried to make hay about that, sending a letter to Abe's Cabinet reading, "There are rumors that the official residence is haunted by ghosts. Is it true? Does Prime Minister Abe refuse to move to the official residence because of the rumors?" Kyodo News reports that the Cabinet replied that it is "not aware" of any ghosts and does "not assent to what was asked." (Read more Shinzo Abe stories.)

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