CROWN PRINCE FUMIHITO'S ASCENT SET NOV.8
Japan will hold ceremonies on Nov. 8 to celebrate Crown Prince Fumihito's ascent to first in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne that were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Thursday over Kyodo News.
The "Rikkoshi no rei" ceremonies are intended to formally proclaim the 54-year-old's new status after his elder brother Emperor Naruhito was enthroned in May last year.
They were initially scheduled to be held on April 19 but were put off due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
"We would like to make thorough preparations while carefully taking measures against the novel coronavirus so that the Rikkoshi no rei ceremonies marking the last of the slew of ceremonies for the imperial succession will be carried out smoothly with people's blessings," Suga told a meeting of the event's organizing committee.
To reduce the risk of infection as much as possible, the committee has decided to reduce the number of guests at the ritual to around 50 from the original 350 and not to hold a buffet banquet.
Former Emperor Akihito, father of Emperor Naruhito and the crown prince, abdicated on April 30 last year, the first time a Japanese emperor has stepped down in over 200 years.