Caterer used fake ID to get into prime minister’s office

by Masami Ito

One would assume the prime minister’s office’s state-of-the-art security system prevents unregistered individuals from entering the premises.

That isn’t necessarily the case, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura.

Kawamura admitted Monday that a hotel caterer slipped into the building using another person’s identification card in November 2005 to serve a dinner party hosted by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

Koizumi had invited the president of Yemen to the party held at the prime minister’s office in Chiyoda Ward. Akasaka Prince Hotel, now the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka, catered the event.

According to the Asahi Shimbun, about 20 staff members, a list of which was submitted to the prime minister’s office beforehand, working the affair. But one of them was absent at the last minute and a different employee was told by the manager to go using the ID of the absentee. The photo of the employee who went was superimposed on the ID card.

“The media report is by and large true,” Kawamura said, noting the hotel reported the incident in 2007.