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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 May 2007, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
Mystery of vanishing golden tub
File picture of a bathtub similar to the one missing
The missing bathtub, which is made of 18-carat gold, weighs some 80kg
A bathtub made of gold, worth 120m yen ($1m; 500,000), has disappeared from a Japanese resort hotel in circumstances that remain unclear, police said.

Staff reported the tub was missing on Wednesday at the Kominato Hotel Mikazuki, a resort overlooking the Pacific Ocean, east of Tokyo.

Police said they had no idea how it was stolen, saying they had found no sign it was dragged on the floor.

The tub weighed 80kg (175lb) and was made of 18-carat gold.

It was normally chained to the door and padlocked when the room was closed, Japanese TV reported.

"The door to the room had been locked with chains, but the chains were found cut off this morning," a police spokesman said.

"We really don't know how this happened at this stage. But what we can assume now is that more than one person was involved in this incident."

Free bath

The tub was located in a shared bathroom for men on the 10th floor of the hotel.

Some 100,000 people have bathed in it, the hotel said on its website.

Guests could use it for free, but the bathtub was only available for use for a few hours in the afternoon.

A similar tub in the women's shared bathroom is still in place, the police spokesman said.

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