October 8, 2008

Naked Man Takes Illegal Dip in Royal Moat

World in brief

TOKYO A bald, naked man who said he was a British tourist was arrested yesterday after going swimming in the moat of Japan's Imperial Palace. He was eventually caught after a 90-minute chase that saw him climb the 8 metre-high palace wall, throw rocks and splash water at police.

"I've never heard of anyone doing such a thing," a man at the scene told TV Tokyo. "He must be a bit crazy."

Police said it was unclear what the man's motives were, although he had apparently dropped a bag in the water. The man, who was about 40 years old, first said he was Spanish but later said he was a Briton living in Spain.

"We are checking on his mental condition now," a police spokesman said. The man was later released.

The palace is in the heart of Tokyo and is home to Japan's emperor and empress.

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