- Title: MEXICO: Mexico City airport hosts Jaopanese "Terminal man" for 84 days
- Date: 25th November 2008
- Summary: (BN17) MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (NOVEMBER 24, 2008) (REUTERS) GENERAL VIEW OF TERMINAL ONE AT MEXICO CITY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (AICM) FAST-FOOD AREA
- Embargoed: 10th December 2008 12:00
- Location: Mexico
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky,Travel / Tourism
- Reuters ID: LVAAE0X69KF1QZMM53DYLSV26KTI
- Story Text: A Japanese man lives at Mexico City International Airport (AICM) for 84 days - for no apparent reason - in a reprise of a role played by Tom Hanks in the Hollywood film "The Terminal."
A Japanese man has been living at Mexico City International Airport (AICM) for 84 days - for no apparent reason - in a reprise of a role played by Tom Hanks in the Hollywood film "The Terminal."
It remains a mystery why Hiroshi Nohara, who is in his 40s and comes from a region close to Tokyo, is staying at the airport.
Some local media have speculated Nohara worked as a cleaner in Japan and traveled to Mexico on September 2 via Los Angeles on his way to Brazil, in search for his girlfriend.
Nevertheless, he now sleeps, eats and bathes at the airport.
Nohara has become a celebrity and tourists enjoy having their picture taken next to him.
Airport workers greet Nohara amicably and even give him free food and drinks.
According to an official from the Japanese Embassy in Mexico, Nohara has a valid passport, sufficient money and a return ticket to Tokyo via San Francisco.
They ignore why Nohara will refuse to leave.
The Japanese Embassy in Mexico, who can't force him to leave, has been in touch with Nohara on several occasions recommending he return to Japan and stop annoying passengers and workers at the airport. They have also recommended he leave fearing for his safety.
Nohara said he has drawn plenty of media attention.
"I was in a newspaper first - in Mexico, Mainichi Shimbun (referring to Japanese newspaper) has a bureau. I also heard from the embassy too - they told me to stop (living in the airport)," he said.
"I know I'm doing something weird," he added.
Airport authorities have said they are unable to remove Nohara from the airport as he has committed no crime.
"Mr. Horishi, has decided by his own will to remain here at the airport. He spends his time walking around the fast-food area in particular.
He eats there and practically sleeps there. His stay is legal for the airport.
For airport authorities, Mr. Nojara is considered a passenger in transit like all the others. We can't restrict access to anyone because of their aspect or by what that person does. In this case there is no illicit activity and he does not beg," said Victor Mejia, a spokesperson at Mexico City Mexico City International Airport (AICM).
In the 2004 Steven Spielberg film, Tom Hanks plays a traveler from a fictional East European country stuck in New York's JFK airport terminal after his passport is revoked following a coup back home.
That film was inspired by the true story of an Iranian-born man who had until then lived in Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport for 16 years.
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