International royalsJapan

Japan’s ruling party to support one-off legislation for Emperor’s abdication

It was announced this week that Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party have decided to support the creation of a one-time-use mechanism to legally allow 83-year-old Emperor Akihito to abdicate. The decision was made after a number of meetings to decide the matter and is controversial in that it directly contradicts the views of the main opposition party – the Democrats – who have argued for…
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International royalsJapan

Emperor to enjoy brief rest following fever

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…
International royalsJapan

Emperor Akihito opens Japanese National Diet

His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Akihito of Japan, opened the Japanese National Diet this Friday. Reading a prepared speech within the upper assembly, it marks Japan’s 189th Ordinary Session since the first Imperial Diet was opened by Emperor Meiji on 29 November 1890. In…
International royalsJapan

Imperial couple introduce their poems at annual New Year ceremony

The traditional “Waka” poems, penned by the Imperial Family, and ten selected works from the public, were recited at the annual New Year event in the Matsunoma main hall in the Imperial Palace. The theme of this year’s poems was “no”, which translates as “field.” Emperor Akihito’s poem recalls the chirping of tree crickets near the Omei pavilion…
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International royalsJapan

Emperor Akihito will not release traditional New Year message

The Emperor of Japan will not release the traditional New Year message this year, which marks another step towards reducing his royal duties. Vice Grand Steward Yasuhiko Nishimura on Monday said Emperor Akihito, who recently turned 83, has accepted a proposal made by the Imperial Household Agency to forgo the message that he has been delivering on 1 January ever since he succeeded to the throne in…
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International royals

Japan’s Empress Michiko Proud of Husband’s Abdication Decision

In a statement released this week by the Imperial Household Agency Empress Michiko has expressed awe and respect at her husband, Emperor Akihito’s decision to potentially abdicate in a few years because of his advancing years and failing health. She said that the announcement came as a shock to her, and caused a little pain, though she added he had obviously given a lot of thought to the…
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