||While the Kantei is the building where the
Prime Minister of Japan undertakes his duties, the residence where the Prime
Minister actually lives is known as the Kotei. The Kotei lied to
the southwest of the Kantei, a single-story building with an area of 508
square meters. It was linked to the Kantei by a walkway.
The Kotei itself had a rich history. At the time of its completion in 1929
it was known as the Nihonma or "Japanese room," and six prime
ministers took up residence there from Giichi Tanaka through to Keisuke Okada.
However, on the February 26 Incident of 1936, the Kotei was ravaged by
rebel troops and could no longer be used as a residence. Afterward, the interior
was renovated and it was used as a working office.
In 1937 a two-story wooden "Japanese house" in a corner of the Kantei
South Garden was built and served as substitute for the Kotei. This structure
burned down during the air raids on Tokyo in May 1945.
After the war, the Kotei continued to be used for a time as working offices,
but was renovated in 1963, and used as a home by then Prime Minister Eisaku Sato
in 1968. Since that time it had accommodated many of Japan's prime ministers.
The historic Kotei will be demolished at some future date, and it is planned
that with the removal and renovation of the current Kantei to new premises,
and that it will become the Kotei.