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Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012

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Talking the talk: Visitors in Tokyo Tower's 150-meter-high observation deck check out the newly introduced robot named Tawabo, which provides information in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean, on Wednesday. The 160-cm-tall Tawabo provides audio commentary on what can be seen below. KYODO

Ball found in Tokyo Tower antenna, 306 meters up

Staff writer

Maybe it was a mighty swing of a bat, or maybe someone with an awesome throwing arm, but a baseball has been found inside the frame for the antenna that tops Tokyo Tower.

The ball, a soft rubber kind typically used in elementary school baseball games, was found about 306 meters above street-level on July 10, the second day of work to replace the antenna, which was bent by the March 11, 2011, earthquake, said Ayako Shimizu, a spokeswoman for tower operator Nippon Television City Corp.

It was the first time the antenna has been removed since the tower was completed in 1958.

The baseball was damaged, partially decayed and blackened from time, Shimizu said. The company is keeping it in an office inside the tower.

"It is hard to believe the ball went inside accidentally. There are 94 people working on the antenna replacement, but very few of them know about the time (when the tower was constructed in 1958.) We are researching how the ball ended up there," Shimizu said.

The 333-meter structure served as a broadcast tower for NHK and other TV stations until analog TV broadcasts ceased with the conversion to digital.

After the quake bent the antenna, Nippon Television City had to reinforce the damaged segment until it could be repaired.

Regardless, the old antenna was going to be removed anyway since all TV broadcasts have shifted from analog to digital, according to the spokeswoman.

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The Japan Times

Article 6 of 13 in National news

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