The birthday greetings for Emperor Naruhito of Japan have been cancelled for the third year in a row.
The Imperial Household Agency announced the cancellation due to the global health crisis.
The event was called off due to the crowds it would bring together during the cold months.
Emperor Naruhito will celebrate his 62nd birthday on 23 February, and since his ascension to the throne in 2019, he has not had any public birthday celebrations due to the ongoing health crisis.
He became the Emperor of Japan on 1 May 2019 after his father, Emperor Akihito, abdicated the previous day. He was the first Japanese Emperor to abdicate in over 200 years.
Greetings for the public at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo traditionally take place on 2 January and the Emperor’s birthday each year. Like the birthday greetings, the New Year greetings were cancelled this year and in 2021.
The last public birthday greetings held at the Imperial Palace were for Emperor Akihito in 2018. His birthday is in December, and as such, there were no public birthday greetings in 2019 as he was no longer the reigning Emperor at the time of his birthday, and the birthday of the new Emperor had already passed before he ascended the throne.