Japan’s Kishida moves into official residence

Pool photo / Jiji Press
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks to reporters at the prime minister’s official residence on Saturday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his family Saturday moved into the prime minister’s official residence, which had been vacant for nine years.

“I feel refreshed but somewhat tense to think of various problems Japan faces,” Kishida told reporters when moving into the residence, which stands next to the prime minister’s office.

Until Saturday, he lived in the dormitory for members of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, not far from the office.

Kishida said he decided to move in order to focus on his work, adding that it is better to live in the official residence for crisis management.

“I also want to spend as much time as possible with my family,” he observed.

The residence, renovated from the former office of the prime minister, opened in 2005. The previous prime minister who lived in the current residence is Yoshihiko Noda, who left office in December 2012.

Kishida’s two immediate predecessors, Shinzo Abe and Yoshihide Suga, did not live in the residence.

The former office was the sites of bloody historic incidents including a failed military coup attempt Feb. 26, 1936. There is a rumor that the current residence is haunted.