A British tourist has been arrested after swimming naked in the moat of Japan’s Imperial Palace.
The middle-aged man – who is thought to live in Spain – was involved in an hour long chase with police after taking a dip in the royal palace’s water.
Local TV footage showed the man swimming around the moat as police chased him with a long stick, attracting a huge crowd of onlookers.
He eventually got out of the water and scaled the 25ft palace wall – only to be caught by waiting policemen. Police said they were unclear about the motive behind the stunt, though the man reportedly dropped a bag in the water.
The palace has housed the Japanese Imperial Family for centuries and is seen as sacred ground. It is rarely opened to the public except for official tours, and a large security force protects it from intruders.
Referring to Emperor Akihito, who lives in the palace, one officer said: “If you know what is within the moat, you won’t go skinny dipping there.”
The man, believed to be in his forties, was not charged following the incident but police said they were “examining the condition of his mental health.”