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Official Residence A virtual tour of the former Kantei (Prime Minister's Official Residence)
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First Floor - North Side
The Entrance Hall > The Grand Hall > Scar of the Kantei > Welcoming VIPs
Scar of the Kantei
One of the remnants of the tumultuous Showa Period (1926-1989)
Scar in the glass over the main entrance (view from inside)
Scar in the glass over the main entrance (view from inside)
Photo No.1 Scar in the glass over the main entrance (view from inside) Photo No.2 Scar in the glass over the main entrance (view from outside)
In the glass over the Main Entrance to the Kantei was a hole about 1cm in diameter that looked like a bullet hole. This had been said for many years to be a "scar" from the February 26 Incident of 1936, but the veracity of this claim remained unknown.

The Kantei was completed in 1929. Barely three years later, in 1932, the May 15 Incident occurred, during which young military officers stormed the Kantei and shot then Prime Minister Tsuyoshi Inukai to death. Four years later the February 26 Incident occurred, and the Kantei was once again the object of an uprising by rebellious military officers. On that occasion however, then Prime Minister Keisuke Okada was hidden in a closet in the servant's room of the Official Residence and thus avoided the fate of his predecessor.

Before dawn on the final day of World War II (August 15, 1945), the Kantei was once again attacked by military officers and students opposed to bringing the war to a conclusion. Then Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki had left the Kantei for his private residence the previous evening and so came to no harm, but it is said that there was shooting on that day in the Kantei.

During the post-war period, in 1960, members of the National Federation of Students' Self-Government Association, demonstrating for the rescinding of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, scaled the walls of the Kantei and forced their way in. Some people say that the hole in the glass dates from this time, when a student fired a small stone with a slingshot. The authenticity of this little scar on the facade of the Kantei was not clear, but it certainly stood as a testimony to the various dramas of the tumultuous Showa period at the Kantei.
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