|| The main building of the new kantei
went into service in April 2002. Replacing the former kantei,
which had weathered 73 years, was the beginning of a new chapter in
The area of the site on which the new kantei was built is 1.6
times that of the former kantei, and it has two-and-a-half
times as much floor space. The main building has five floors above
ground and one floor below. Facilities for receiving guests and holding
meetings have been enhanced, and a specialized space for crisis management
has been prepared.
The basic design concept is "evocation of the simple beauty of the
Japanese aesthetic." The principal building materials are those of
traditional Japanese architecture: wood, stone, Japanese paper, glass
and clay (walls).
The Inner Court, which extends up from the second floor to the rooftop,
is a combination of bamboo and stone (natural-quarried granite). Bamboo
expresses the "future challenges as it grows toward the sky", while
the stone signifies the "strength and solidity as they sit on the
If the horned owl was the symbol of the former kantei, it may
be said that bamboo and stone have moved into that role at the new
As we greet the new century, the new kantei is surely a suitable
face for Japanese politics.