Wednesday, October 8, 2008
WHO LET THE DOGS OUT
A British tourist has been arrested after swimming naked in the moat of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. The incident has caused controversy as Emperor Akihito, the current Emperor of Japan, lives in the palace which is secured by the moat. The man, believed to be in his 40s, jumped into the moat and started throwing rocks M and splashing two policemen. Police subsequently chased him in a rowing boat, a scene captured by local TV footage. Eventually, the man got out of the water and climbed up the 26ft stone wall of the palace - only to find police waiting for him. Although police have not released any information about the individual, local media reports say the man is a 40-year-old Briton living in Spain who visited the moat with several Spanish friends. A palace official confirmed that the emperor was in the palace, but it was unlikely he saw the nude swimmer. "I've never heard of anyone doing such a thing," an unidentified man at the scene told TV Tokyo. "He must be a bit crazy." Film footage shows passers-by gathering around the moat and watching the chase, giggling and taking photos on mobile phones. Police said it was unclear what his motives were, although media said he had dropped a bag in the water. The palace, in the heart of Tokyo, is surrounded by 12 moats running for four miles in all.Tourists can walk freely around the periphery of the palace and go inside on a tour, but in general are not allowed to step within the premises of the 115 hectare (284 acre) palace grounds.