crime

Naked Briton detained after swimming in Imperial Palace moat

130 Comments

A 40-year-old British tourist was taken into police custody Tuesday after swimming naked in a moat around the Imperial Palace, police officials said.

The man, a resident of Spain, was on a sightseeing trip along with seven Spanish tourists, according to the police.

According to police, the man dived into the moat around 11:30 a.m. after he visited a local police box near the Imperial Palace together with five friends who were all foreigners in their 40s or 50s. Some of the group spoke to a police officer in English, telling him they had accidentally dropped a bag into the moat and needed something to fish it out with. Then one of the men suddenly stripped off and dived into the moat, police said.

Fifty police officers and firefighters were mobilized to catch the man who threw rocks and splashed water at two policemen in a rowing boat. Local TV footage showed the man swimming around the moat as the police chased him with a long stick, attracting a crowd of onlookers. He was in the water for about an hour.

He eventually got out of the water and climbed a stone wall only to fall into the hands of police officers who were waiting for him.

Broadcasters were careful to meet Japan's obscenity laws once he had climbed out of the water, masking images of his private parts with a blurry dot.

A police official said he had never heard of a skinny dipper causing a stir in the palace moat before. The moat is separated from the emperor's residence by high stone walls and woods.

A palace official said the emperor was in the palace, but it was unlikely he saw the nude swimmer.

© Wire reports

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


130 Comments
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How many years ago was this?

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They were rather generous with the pixelation.

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Actually I was surprised at first, when I heard about a Spanish guy bathing in the Imperial Palace moat. A spanish guy? That sounded strange to me. It would have been rather sth an american or british guy would do.

Now I hear that he was actually a briton. Ahh, I am relieved - everything OK with my world view.

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thank god it wasn't an American for once

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It only took 50 police officers to catch one man. Great work!!

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They should have tossed the gentleman a rubber ducky.

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The line about the media obeying the obscenity law is hilarious!! I still don't know why they insist on Victorian values in blotting out body parts here, when I can walk into any convenience store where my kid is greeted with magazines portraying sex, nudity and bukkake - at HIS eye level! Another fine example of double standards.

There is no double standard. The sexual situations often depicted anywhere and everywhere are not the same thing as displaying genitals. The Japanese are very consistent about it, as they were with reporting of this incident.

Anyway, even in America they blotted out the genitals for television, as one poster above tells us. --Cirroc

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50 police officers to catch a nude man? It must have been hilarious for other tourists there!!! Here in Greece, cops would have just waited until he got bored and went out by himself. But, after all, it's the Emperor's image... I don't know any Emperor who wish to have a nude man swimming outside of his home...^_^

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Hugharse - thanks for the link! That was comical and at least the BBC have the decency to blank out his face.

The line about the media obeying the obscenity law is hilarious!! I still don't know why they insist on Victorian values in blotting out body parts here, when I can walk into any convenience store where my kid is greeted with magazines portraying sex, nudity and bukkake - at HIS eye level! Another fine example of double standards.

As for the emperor not noticing, I doubt it. How would anyone miss 50 keystone cops, the media and a large crowd outside their house?

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Proudly flying the flag for Britain. Well, the flagpole, anyway.

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MrDickMorris....

"pasty flab-monster"? Sound like you have anti British views,

Nope, being a Brit and living in London that would be odd. Just anti-p1ssed-up Brits abroad views - be it Tokyo or Magaluf. What would you have done, shook is hand and bought him a pint.

The rozzers should have tasered the fat-knacker. Now that would have been funny.

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A police official said he had never heard of a skinny dipper causing a stir in the palace moat before. Skinny dipper? Don't they mean fat bastard?

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nessie haha / and thats why the other person mentioned Camilla swimming in the moat on the Prince Charles & Camilla's visit here! and the world just gets crazier ... but better this than another serious and sad crime. Im sure this gave the Palace folks something to talk about for the day. Ultradodgy, you took the words out of my mouth (or the text off my keyboard) -- if in the states, he might have died from a tazer shock, indeed. Again, crazy folks, anywhere.

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A memorable vacation, no doubt.

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Nothing Freddie Flintoff wouldn't do after a couple of beers!

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why is it that the japanese media hid his genitals but, displayed his face? the north american and european media outlets hid both his face and his pee-pee. also, has anyone in the UK/Spain seen any interviews with the genius' family/co-workers abroad? i heard he was released from japanese police custody, in the same day. imagine that!?

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This was technically an invasion of what is likely the most secure area in Japan (perhaps after the US Embassy.)

Curious how cops in Washington would have reacted to a fellow running around the white house lawn for an hour.

I'm for one grateful that the cops here didn't tazer/shoot/beat/etc him. My guess is that he'll be found to be severly mentally imbalanced (either that or the Spanish equivalent of Borat.)

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Oh, this has made my Japanese mother in laws year! She always secretly thought we Brits were completely crazy. The jubilation on her face when she found out he wasnt actually Spanish but was in fact British! But I absolutely cracked up at her comment - "Abunai! Kaze hikanai de??!"

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here`s the bbc clip.. hilarious stuff!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/7656537.stm

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In the bag was mariuhana of course :p

anyway next time a visitor comes to japan there will be a new question on the tourist visa application.

[] are you planning to swim naked in the moat at tokyo's Emperor palace?

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On the BBC clip I saw he used some pole to go at the police - one took qute a hit on his riot shield then when they though stuff it and charged him he jumped back in the moat.

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Using a tazer has its plus and minuses like I said before. In New York City, the NYPD tazed a naked guy who fell down hit his head and died. If they (J-police) could of tazered this guy (near water?) he falls, drowns, or hits his head on the rocks as he falls, then everyone would be here complaining about police brutality and all. Some guys coming at you naked or not throwing rocks, you stepped back. I give credit to the J police for dealing with this situation without the need to use over excessive force that you might see elsewhere, especially in case where the person might be mentally unstable.

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He was in the water for about an hour

an hour? are you serious? talk about keystone cops.. what a comedy.

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Fifty police officers and firefighters were mobilized to..., and that is lot of taxpayers’ money that was spent. Something is not right with accused. I wonder if ate a 'SPANISH FLY?' Is this another ‘catch me if you can?’

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They're always talking about invasive alien species in the moat, but usually they mean bluegills.

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It wouldnt take the secret service two hours to catch me. It wouldnt take 50 of them to catch me. And they wouldnt run away from me.

You'd be dead. Perforated.

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Any one of you who thinks this is an overreaction by Japanese police, jump the fence around the White House naked and let's see what happens...

It wouldnt take the secret service two hours to catch me. It wouldnt take 50 of them to catch me. And they wouldnt run away from me.

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So what was in the bag that was so important, I wonder?

Nuts. Winter is coming you know. The dude is pretty squirrelly. --Cirroc

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Some of the group spoke to a police officer in English, telling him they had accidentally dropped a bag into the moat and needed something to fish it out with. Then one of the men suddenly stripped off and dived into the moat, police said.

So what was in the bag that was so important, I wonder?

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I think they should make a police training video of this and share it with other countries so they can learn how to resolve a situation without the use of force. Good job, Japanese police for getting the situation resolved without having to kill a man! I have more and more respect everyday for the roll Japanese police fill as peace officers not acting like overlords.

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I think the confusion about this guy's nationality could be because he might be from Gibraltar?

Never mind. In Japan he is a gaijin first, and that is all that really matters. --Cirroc

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And that's a great video, Patrick Smash. Note how he chases people away with his nudity INCLUDING police officers.

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Hilarious. I reckon the guy should get a prize. Still can't believe the police took two hours to catch him but after all he was 'beating the water in a threatening manner' according to my local rag.

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this does make a good case for tasers... they should have just shot him as did have a weapon.

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J law enforcement is just plain useless. At least they offer some periodic comic relief. Like running away from naked guys. So much for Aso's dream of a powerful Japan.<

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At times like this, I claim some other nationality ...

Unless there is a sign there that says people should not go swimming, I reckon he could get away with it on a legal technicality.

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What happened to the bag? I hope the pole he used was long enough to successfully fish the bag out of the moat.

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Man. if the imperial moat is anywhere near as toxic as the one around Nagoya Castle the guy will be lucky if a long prison sentence is all he gets. I'm surprised he didn't come out of there with a few carp or turtles hanging off of him. They usually will eat worms in a heart beat.

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I'd rather have fifty comrades with me because I don't want to be the one who has to touch the slimy limey or spaniard after a one hour marinade in the moat.

He splashed water on me, get me to detox!!! Give me the stick. I hope the emperor got a laugh out of this one.

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On TV yesterday, the cops had given his friend a bullhorn to entice the guy back. He was shouting to him in Spanish, and called him "Lorenzo" or something. If he's British, then only technically. Still funny as hell though..

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It takes 4 J-cops to write a parking ticket around Arc Hills. So 50 to take care of a chubby naked British Oji-san sounds about right. If the guy was young they would have deployed the SDF with tanks and air support.

J law enforcement is just plain useless. At least they offer some periodic comic relief. Like running away from naked guys. So much for Aso's dream of a powerful Japan.<<<<

By what standard?

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"I can't see the funny side to this at all"

That's too bad.

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I don't know what he was thinking as that moat water is green with slime and full of used condoms. Yuk!

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I'm more interested in how BBC reported the incident.

"Japanese police have detained a Spanish tourist who swam naked in the moat around the Imperial Palace in the heart of the capital Tokyo. "

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7656765.stm

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I love the way he makes a pack of grown men (including police) flee in terror by being..

It looks like one cop shooing a group of men in ties into the palace,probably the ones you see in the beginning of the video taking pictures, a couple of them with white hair, I assume some people came out of the palace to see what was going on. If you look carefully, he already had that black and yellow pole they put on cones in his left hand, you can see the tip of it beyond the blur.

The Blobinator strikes Tokyo!

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Any one of you who thinks this is an overreaction by Japanese police, jump the fence around the White House naked and let's see what happens...

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True that picard, if some foreign nutter in another country was prancing around NAKED and taunting the police in a SACRED area, you can bet your last dollar that more than a handful of police would surround the area. For example let's see if only a 'handful' of cops and secret service would be around if some naked nutter was running around the white house. That this guy was not treated with more force as the situation deserved is fortunate, but if that had happened then the same people here would cry about Jp police "bruality." You just cannot win with some people here. Again, how convenient that many here find it altogether amusing and mocking the Jp police instead of rightfully concentrating on a foreigner disrespecting another country's sacred grounds and cultural institutions. Unbelievable.

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Japan: 5 janitors to change a lightbulb, 50 cops to chase a naked guy.

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I can't see the funny side to this at all. Why 50 police? Because some nutter was swimming naked at the IMPERIAL PALACE....imagine some nutter running around naked on the grounds of Buckingham Palace...you think they'd just send one bobby? Of course not. This guy embarrassed himself and perpetuated the myth of the gaijin that many Japanese have in their minds...and with things like this, rightly so. So many double standards on this thread. (okay, have to admit, the police did look pretty damn stupid when they all ran away from him).

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It takes 4 J-cops to write a parking ticket around Arc Hills. So 50 to take care of a chubby naked British Oji-san sounds about right. If the guy was young they would have deployed the SDF with tanks and air support.

J law enforcement is just plain useless. At least they offer some periodic comic relief. Like running away from naked guys. So much for Aso's dream of a powerful Japan.

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Why no name? Is he shy?

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bloody hilarious indictment on Japan's useless police.On one of the photos I saw on the net it looks like he finally ended up holding that baton and waving it at the cops..unless he was just grabbing the end of it,it is hard to tell from the angle.At least he didn't get a public beating,which is what they usually dole out to Yasukuni protesters.

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I wonder if they'll slap the "Not carrying gaijin card" charge on him.

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What a study in cultural differences. If a middle aged Japanese man did the same thing in some royal palace or whatnot in Europe I can guarantee that most Japanese would be angry at him for projecting an image of Japanese as a bunch of looney toons. Yet everyone here not only thinks it's hilarious (which I do too) but we criticize the silly cops (50 for 1 guy??? come on..) and don't give a rats behind about the impression that the Japanese public get of "gaijin". Thanks for he youtube link, it shows the J-cops treating the guy as a potentially dangerous crazy, which of course was the correct thing to do.

My thoughts exactly ULTRA.

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Of course he's not German - otherwise there would be a towel reserving the best spot next to the moat.

I think he's a Brit who resides in Spain.

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Just saw it on youtube. Jesus, the police looked like a bunch of sissies. At one point he walked towards a group of about 10 policemen, and they all ran away!!!! WTF!

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What is it with pommy men and the obsession to run around naked?

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I understand that the 2012 olympic committee in london is now considering moat jumping as an official event. This guy could bring in a gold for the brits.

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Very funny story. This guy has just shown us how to be globally famous with almost zero investment. I hope he enjoys his 15mins of fame, or infamy.

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The AFP network says he is Spanish, not British. Which one is right?

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usaexpat at 06:34 AM JST - 8th October oh those zany brits, I'm so glad it wasn't an American this time.

ha ha ha ... my japanese friend had wagered that the nudist was german. my money was on the french ... he he he. i'm glad it was no one of my nationalites. yes, i am a dual citizen.

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By eing the first real kappa to appear in the palace moat, will he be beautified and enshrined as a moat guardian spirit who gives out confectionaries in October to residents and workers of Chiyoda who embrace the proud expression of public nudity?

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What a study in cultural differences. If a middle aged Japanese man did the same thing in some royal palace or whatnot in Europe I can guarantee that most Japanese would be angry at him for projecting an image of Japanese as a bunch of looney toons. Yet everyone here not only thinks it's hilarious (which I do too) but we criticize the silly cops (50 for 1 guy??? come on..) and don't give a rats behind about the impression that the Japanese public get of "gaijin". Thanks for he youtube link, it shows the J-cops treating the guy as a potentially dangerous crazy, which of course was the correct thing to do.

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The Ugly Briton abroad? You decide!

I've seen uglier things in Ibiza

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The Ugly Briton abroad? You decide!

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A publicity stunt by the NPA to proove that they can catch a naked "criminal".

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oh those zany brits, I'm so glad it wasn't an American this time.

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Honestly this AND the comments of those above me, have really given me a great laugh. There were so many comments I wanted to chime in with, but more then would be allowed. Mind you the "--We could have a new keystone kops movie....". Was very good, but then so many more I liked.

Give the police credit for this was an older man with a lot of blubber, a whitie, & a visitor-------50 or 100 police they were still very polite in this situation.

Obviously at his age & his blubber he could not be a STREAKER though could be a FLASHER.

So a little or a lot of booze can have a human, yes even a Brit, do some strange things.

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On youtube:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=XNKSMknWnF0

I love the way he makes a pack of grown men (including police) flee in terror by being...nakled (14 seconds in). Then evades capture after being surrounded by 4 J-police with long sticks and riot shields by running away and jumping in the water (50 sec in)!

Why the 50 police? just ignore him - he will get cold and get out in the end. No need to tazer or shoot him.

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Oooh, I think he had his sausage and both his bags out!!Ohhohohoh!!!

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So, did he get the bag out?

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I wonder what kind of sentence this guy is going to get. I don't think I will forget this story any time soon.

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As for the large number of police and firemen... well, I guess, much like the rest of us, they would rather be standing about having a giggle than actualy doing any real work.

In the UK I figure that the police would just let him get tired swiming in the cold water then cuff (or tazer) him as he tried to get out.

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haha, this is funny.

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well streaking is a great British tradition, he probably couldn't find a cricket match to disrupt...

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"if any of you caught a naked dude in your pool I doubt that you'd show the restraint that the j-cops showed this guy."

Well, Mike Barrymore would have shown some restraint, I guess.

I suppose the cops did show restraint and possibly that restraint required more of them to do the job than simply shooting him would have. So good on them then.

I still want to know what the guy was thinking. It was amusing, sure. But WTF?

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That was funny but you have to see that this is the Imperial Palace. The j-cops have to think that if this guy was dumb enough to pull this stuff that he could be a potential danger to the figure head of Japan.

Even though the emperor is just a symbol, he still needs to be given some respect for his position. That being said, if any of you caught a naked dude in your pool I doubt that you'd show the restraint that the j-cops showed this guy.

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nah i watched this today by accident coming from a silly arsed meeting. a right crack up. but he were nowhere near the imperial mote, but off by the aig building bit. would have needed to be a snakefish type to get anywhere near his holiness.

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I wonder if the emperor and his family were looking on having a giggle.

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"Yes, I do. You never know if a person has a weapon hidden somewhere. The police are paid to protect us, and that they did!".

A hidden weapon on a naked guy, whose been swimming in the moat ... I seriously hope you're joking.

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rjdjr

Where could he have hidden a weapon when naked, pray tell?

The Brits find this really funny, it is being shown on News 24. Hee! Hee!

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This is likely the only nice thing I'll say about Japanese police this year, but the cops did fine....and were quite restrained. They didn't shoot, taser or hit him with a stick, although he tried to whack them a few times. Try running naked on the lawn of the White House and see if they take an hour to get you in custody.

Apparently the best-trained cops are around the palace!

And yeah, 50 cops is not out of line....this was the Palace after all, and no telling where he'd try to get out and run. After Akihabara, they aren't going to let apparently crazy people run free.

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Christ I just saw this on the news, that guy seriously was crazy or something, he was throwing rocks etc, the police showed some restraint, I think if this were another country, he would have a few bullets in him by now.

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It is the imperial mote, what do you expect? 2 blue suited rentacops to come out and catch him?, of course they'll send in 50+ police, heck I wouldn't be surprised if SAT was on standby. Some naked guy jumps the white house fense obviously he has no weapon, do you think the secret service is going to just send 2 guys to catch him, they're be choppers and all. Some are like 50 police is overkill, well look at the situation, you have:

Its the Imperial Mote for pete sake You probably have a lot of onlookers, news etc, you'll need additional officers for crowd countol. Its a pretty big place
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Disrespectful and Ignorance. Deport him and his buddies to Spain or is that Britain? Next thing we'll hear is a Japanese tourist pissing on the gates of Buckingham Palace.

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This caper sounds awight! a right giggle.

i wouldn't mind having a paddle with the right bloke, this bloke is a bit too podgy for my tastes.

Think it might be better sticking to my pool in my garden, i won't get nicked after paddling in there, hopefully!

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did he get his bag back?

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Ha! Ha! That's a classic! Good on ya pom for giving me my daily chuckle! Great stuff! There should be more of it!

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A bit late but: A naked man jumped into the imperial moat today, 50 cops are looking into it.

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Dam! I wish I had thought of that!

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Ahhh, all these years I've been waiting for this to happen. Now I an die happy. :)

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I wouldn't be so worried about apprehending a nude nutter, its pretty clear that he wasn't packing anything dangerous.

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I guess the fingerprinting system at the airports missed public enemy number one. Time for enhanced biometrics.

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Hey I don't blame the coppers this time, I'd be cautious too. If someone is crazy enough to jump into the imperial moat butt naked there's no telling what other irrational acts he might be capable off. High time the Japanese police add mace and stun guns to their arsenal I'd say.

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Could this be construed as a terrorist attack on Japan by a foreigner? Stricter immigration laws will be enacted tomorrow.

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Soochi- Random deranged attacks are by japanese not foreigners.

hoe do you know he was throwing rocks for no reason? "pasty flab-monster"? Sound like you have anti British views, very sad in this ady and age.

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Yep rjd jr

I think its horrible that no one is saying anything bad about the naked old man, and they are saying such harsh things about the police trying to get a naked old man out of a dirty smelly moat around a palace. I wonder if they frisked him after they pulled him out.. Jcop 1 Did you frisk him_? Jcop2 Yes I think he has a gun look.. Jcop1 Thats not a gun that his $%$&#%#& lmao

just so you know jr I would laugh at that many cops after a naked old man any place, but it happened here////..

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well it's like running naked during rugby or soccer match i guess

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**Yeah, a naked man is so dangerous in this day and age ..yawn...

In a city where random attacks by deranged nutters are now a daily occurrence I for one would be a bit apprehensive if this pasty flab-monster crawled out of the water, ar3e naked and chucking rocks at me for no reason.

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rjr, the police didnt help him get his bag, he got tried to get it himself. maybe there is more to it but at this stage that's all we have. perhaps his passport was in the bag. pretty important. the police should have assisted him in the first place.

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I often feel homesick, I don't get to watch people driving all over the LA freeway system, trying to evade the cops. Yeah, sometimes, I do miss that...but, thanks to this guy....those homesick blues are long gone. Thanks, Mr. Naked Briton living in Spain.

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wonder if the brit is aware of the Japanese penile system

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This thing is so bizarre that I'm having a tough time coming up with a joke. I'd love to know what he thought he was doing and what he thought the reaction was going to be. Sort of like swimming nude in the reflecting pool on the mall in DC. Why would you? What do you think would happen?

Goofy.

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rjd jr- hey what's wrong buddy, you weren't the first to post!

Yeah, a naked man is so dangerous in this day and age ..yawn...

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I am so happy that quite a few of you would find this so hilarious and amusing, and save criticism and mockery for the police instead of on the rightful person, this tourist. The reason why it took so many police is nowadays in this scary world one cannot second guess and predict what crazy people will do. Anywhere else a few cops would have roughhandled or shot this guy.

Fact is, if this had been a Jp tourist doing some stupid stunt anywhere else in a very important area, then the harsh criticism and insults towards the tourist for disrespecting the country would be rampant.

Yet another example out of thousands of double standards. Sickening.

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50 police officers, or 50 police officers and firefighters? Which is it?

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They call him the Flash.....

maybe he just wanted to get that all over tan finally....

LMAO

Anyone film it in black and white with no sound? We could have a new keystone kops movie....

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50 vs 1 ... can you imagine 4 guys jumped naked into the moat?!

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"A palace official said the emperor was in the palace, but it was unlikely he saw the nude swimmer."

A very important point and has of course to be mentioned, right?!

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50 cops for 1 naked guy? What are they police doing when there isn't a naked guy running around?

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Well, it was warm today. I was sweating myself.

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This article (and news) is so funny... 1) "he visited a local police box near the Imperial Palace together with five friends" Who visits a police box? is is a tourist attraction? 2) "Fifty police officers and firefighters were mobilized to catch the man" Of course, they would not try to stop yakuza or prostitution, so they have plenty of time to deal with this minor issues. 3) "He was in the water for about an hour." That is why moats should have crocodiles, not just carps. 4) "A palace official said the emperor was in the palace, but it was unlikely he saw the nude swimmer" He must have been very busy, doing what the Japanese emperor always does...

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hes not wearing very well..looks more like 65. Hes spanish according to the BBC and British according to the spanish.

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yes Romulus3... brilliant!

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Anyway this dude was a blob... but good on him.

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suddenly 4 hours later after the cops did nothing.

Is that true? I am inclined to think there was no bag. I cannot imagine getting naked and being in the water for an hour and failing to find the bag.

Anyway, what a wonderful image for the Japanese to project onto us gaijin. I thought some people were looking at me a little funny today. And I am not kidding. --Cirroc

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northlondon^ Correct, taht is why we are alabelled the vile "G" word.

These man probably did it for a prank or bet, little realising he could face a few years in prison, due to lack of respect to the emperor and for being foreign.

japan get out of the middle ages. Heh Heh.

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Spanish ? Now British ? Tokyo police language incompetence at it's worst ! I guess we're all the same to them !

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Some of the group spoke to a police officer in English, telling him they had accidentally dropped a bag into the moat and needed something to fish it out with. Then one of the men suddenly stripped off and dived into the moat, police said.

suddenly 4 hours later after the cops did nothing.

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cool biz or global warming ?

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I'm heading down their in my swimwear and a towel over my shoulder.

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hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! aaaahhhhhhh hahahahahahahahahaha! that is a classic!

A palace official said the emperor was in the palace, but it was unlikely he saw the nude swimmer.

Guard: Dear Emperor, there is a naked gaijin swimming in the moat. we must evacuate you to the nuclear bunkers.

Akihito: Bring my telescope at once guard! I will verify these ridiculous claims myself.

Guard: your telescope sir.

Akihito: tee hehe hehe hehe. Look at the stupid cops in their row boat!

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the emperor was in the palace, but it was unlikely he saw the nude swimmer.

A case of the Emperor's new clothes perhaps ?

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50 officers for this one guy?

Sorry, but this does NOT surprise me.

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Well the main thing is... did he recover the bag, or not???

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50 officers for this one guy? A couple of LAPD officers would've handled him fine

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I saw this on TV today.. put it this way, the guy who controlled the blurring of his private parts didnt do a very good job! Very funny daytime TV ;P

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Spain does also have palaces. Perhaps he got mixed up with his country. Most likely that was a bet.Were they all drunk or on drugs? What a 'Spanish Fracas' in Japan. I never heard of this one. So friends got away and he will get perhaps a medal for being brave. Not medal in Japan but in Spain. I don't see much of the body in the photo, was he shy or police shocked what they saw? By the way, were there any female servants around at that time?

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I can't understand why only one comment so far. We should have a field day with this one.

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Sounds like a bet.

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