Man lived above Japanese toilet for three years

By News from Elsewhere... found by BBC Monitoring

image source, Usuki Municipal Government
image captionThe tranquil surrounds of the city park kept an unusual secret for at least three years

A man has been arrested in Japan after he was discovered living in the loft above a public toilet.

Takashi Yamanouchi had been living in his unusual abode for three years in Usuki, south-western Japan, before it was discovered by an electrician carrying out repairs, the Mainichi news website reports. He moved in after a previous occupant left, he told police.

He's thought to have accessed the relatively spacious loft space by climbing on top of the toilet stalls and squeezing through a maintenance hatch. A local authority employee who accompanied police said that the squat was "neat and tidy" with a gas stove, electric heater and clothing. The only blot on the unwelcome lodger's copybook was 500 plastic bottles which appeared to be full of urine, police say.

Japan isn't the only developed country where homelessness and poverty have led to unusual living conditions. In 2013, a Chinese woman was found to have lived in a hole in the ground in Beijing for 20 years, using the toilets at a nearby park for water and washing facilities. She was evicted and her hole filled with concrete, state-owned China Daily reported at the time.

Meanwhile, Usuki authorities in Japan have carried out a search of all of their toilet facilities following the eviction of Mr Yamanouchi, and reassure the public that they are now free of interlopers.

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