||The Kantei photography office was created
in October 1968. During a visit to the United States for a summit meeting in 1967,
then Prime Minister Eisaku Sato was thrilled to receive a photo album as a present
from the White House official photographer, prompting him to order the creation
of a Kantei photography office.
Since then, all the Prime Ministers have been captured on film and well over 300,000
photos have been snapped. The office has four staff who always follow the Prime
Minister on official engagements, and along with interpreters, bodyguards and
official photographers from other countries, they stick close to the Prime Minister's
side, right through to deep inside particular events.
The photography office began to use digital cameras from August 2000, when then
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori visited southwest Asia. The idea behind using digital
cameras was that pictures taken of the Prime Minister's activities could be uploaded
to the "What's Up Around the Prime Minister" section of the Kantei
homepage as soon as possible.
Photographers in the Kantei photography office have to be quick off the
mark to grab the right camera dangling from their necks to snap that all-important
moment when the Prime Minister shakes hands.