Prime Minister's Official Residence (Japan)

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Coordinates: 35°40′23″N 139°44′35″E / 35.673°N 139.743°E / 35.673; 139.743

The Kantei from the valley side

The Prime Minister's Official Residence[1] (総理大臣官邸, Sōri Daijin Kantei) or (首相官邸 Shushō Kantei) is the principal workplace and residence of the Prime Minister of Japan.


Located at 2-3-1 Nagata-chō, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968, it is diagonally adjacent to the National Diet Building. The new residence went into service in April 2002[2] and replaced the former residence, built in 1929. The former residence is now known as the Sōri Kōtei (総理公邸), Prime Minister's Residential Quarters. The term Kantei is used as a metonym for the office of the Prime Minister of Japan and for the Prime Minister's advisors and administration in general.

In addition to the Prime Minister's Official Residence being the principal office of the Prime Minister, the Chief Cabinet Secretary and the Deputy Cabinet Secretaries perform their daily duties, it is also the place where important Cabinet meetings take place, where foreign leaders are welcomed and entertained, and is also the location of a national crisis management center.[3]


The Prime Minister's Official Residence was called Sōri Daijin Kantei (総理大臣官邸), also known as the Sōri Kantei (総理官邸), the Shushō Kantei (首相官邸) or simply the Kantei (官邸).


The old residence in the year of its completion, 1929
East façade of the new official residence

With the evolution of a national Parliament after the Meiji Restoration and the establishment of the post of "Prime Minister of Japan" in 1885, the need for an official Prime Ministerial residence was felt. On the encouragement of Prime Minister Tanaka Giichi, the first residence was completed on 18 March 1929. It was a two-storied mansion designed by Muraji Shimomoto, of the Ministry of the Treasury (now Ministry of Finance)[4] and was heavily influenced by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Indeed, Prime Minister Tanaka is said to have exclaimed, "This is just like a café, isn't it?",[5] upon seeing the Art Deco style of the building.

By the 1990s, the 5,200 square metres (56,000 sq ft) building was deemed cramped and insufficient, and a new five-storied residence was built in 2002 next to the old, with 2.5 times the floor space.[6] Installed with solar panels and a rainwater storage system, the new building has been designed to minimize environmental impact.[7]

In an April 2015 incident, a Phantom 2 drone carrying traces of radiation was found on the roof of the PM's office.[8] It had been controlled by Yasuo Yamamoto, an anti-nuclear protestor from Fukui Prefecture.[9] Yamamoto flew the drone there carrying sand containing cesium from Fukushima prefecture on April 9, but the drone was not discovered until April 22.[10] Yamamoto later received a two-year suspended sentence.[11]


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