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24 June


Today in Japan Emperor Akihito abdicate

Crown Prince Naruhito access to the throne in May 1

Photo: AP

/NOVOSTIVL/ Emperor Akihito’s abdication on Tuesday, one of several ceremonies marking the transition to his heir, Crown Prince Naruhito, will be a brief, relatively simple and rare event. This article appeared in the Reuters.

The last abdication by a Japanese monarch was in 1817.

Crown Prince Naruhito will become Emperor on Wednesday, but his formal enthronement will take place at a more elaborate ceremony in October, to which foreign dignitaries will be invited.

April 30 — abdication ceremony (5 p.m.-5:10 p.m.): The ceremony will take place in the Imperial Palace’s Pine Chamber, known for its polished wood floor and considered the palace’s most prestigious room. About 300 people will attend the event, broadcast live on national television.

Imperial chamberlains will carry the state and privy seals into the room along with two of Japan’s three sacred treasures — a sword and a jewel — which together with a mirror are symbols of the throne. They are said to originate in ancient mythology.

May 1 — regalia inheritance (10:30-10:40 a.m.): This is the first stage of Crown Prince Naruhito’s accession to the throne. Chamberlains will put the seals, sword and jewel on desks in front of the new Emperor as proof of his rightful succession.

The ceremony is observed by a small group that includes adult male royalty and representatives of the three branches of the government, including Abe and his Cabinet. Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko will not be present.

May 1 — Emperor’s first remarks (11:10-11:20 a.m.): Shortly afterward, Emperor Naruhito will make his first public remarks as emperor in the Pine Chamber — comments that might offer hints about his goals or hopes for his reign.

May 4 — Emperor, Empress greet well-wishers at palace: Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako will make their first public appearance, greeting well-wishers gathered at the Imperial Palace. They will appear six times during the day from 10 a.m.