LONDON — For nearly 150 years, the United Kingdom’s embassy to Japan occupied a prime piece of Tokyo real estate across the river from the Imperial Palace. The compound weathered a host of tragedies, including a break in diplomatic relations during World War II — and a 1923 earthquake.
What it didn’t survive — at least not completely — was a cash crunch caused by the coronavirus pandemic and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to merge the U.K.’s departments in charge of foreign and development policy. In October, the British Foreign Office sold nearly half the embassy grounds to the Mitsubishi Estate Group, using the profits to pay for solar panels for
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