Although the Emperor of Japan is afforded no political powers by the Japanese Constitution, he still must attend to numerous other ceremonial duties, such as his opening of the Japanese National Diet earlier this year. Many of these are purely ceremonial, maintained out of a sense of cultural tradition that links modern Japan with its past. Unfortunately, however, it would seem that His Imperial Majesty was forced to forgo one such ceremony earlier this week.
The Imperial Household Agency, which manages the Imperial Family of Japan and all its doings, confirmed that HIM was given a flu jab during the weekend in order to help stave off pneumonia. The fever arose as a mild side effect of the inoculation, which caused a slight rise in temperature.
Although the Imperial Household Agency was quick to assure the public that the Emperor was otherwise in good health and is expected to recover swiftly, they decided to postpone his duties for the time being anyway to give him some time to recover. The Emperor was due to perform a ritual ceremony within the Imperial Palace in Tokyo Monday morning. By the end of the day, it was reported that the fever was already starting to ease and no further systems have been noted.
In recent years His Imperial Majesty has been hinting quite overtly that, due to concerns of his advancing years and declining vitality, he’d rather much like to abdicate the Chrysanthemum Throne to his son, Crown Prince Naruhito. The Japanese Government has begun discussions of the matter.
The ceremony in question was reported to be in commemoration of the death of Emperor Komei (1846-1867).
Fortunately the Emperor and Empress’s plans to visit the Imperial Villa in Hayama, Kanazawa Province is still intended to go ahead as planned. It is hoped that their visit there will allow them a little more time to relax and His Imperial Majesty a few more days to recover. The visit will last around five days.