Category Archives: Japan

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A New Imperial Portrait!

  May 22, 2018 at 10:35 am by

A new oil painting of Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress of Japan was revealed yesterday by the Imperial Household Agency. The painting, by 81 year old Hiroshi Noda, is square portrait measuring two metres by two metres and depicts Their Majesties standing formally side-by-side.  It uses muted tones, colour and light, with Emperor Akihito wearing a dark suit and tie, and Empress Michiko resplendent in full-length embroidered outfit and a … Continue reading

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Japan’s Princess Mako Postpones Wedding Until “At Least 2020”

  February 6, 2018 at 10:00 am by

The Imperial Household Agency issued a statement on Tuesday announcing that the wedding of Princess Mako of Akishino and Kei Komuro has been postponed “until at least 2020”. “Lack of preparation” was cited by an IHA spokesperson, Takaharu Kaji, as the reason for the postponement – Princess Mako and Mr Komuro had been scheduled to become formally engaged on March 4th, with their wedding ceremony to take place in November. A statement … Continue reading

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Japanese Imperial Family Attend New Year’s Lectures

  January 10, 2018 at 8:00 am by

Members of the Japanese Imperial Family attended the traditional New Year’s Lectures, Kousho Hajime, held at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Wednesday. Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko and the family listened to lectures by Professor Kazui Tashiro, Professor Naoyuki Osaka and Akira Fujishima, the President of the Tokyo University of Science, deliver lectures on topics relating to “human, social and natural sciences”. Crown Princess Masako was present at the event for the … Continue reading

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Emperor Akihito Receives New Year’s Greetings From The Public

  January 2, 2018 at 4:40 pm by

On Tuesday January 2nd, Emperor Akihito of Japan received the well-wishes of the Japanese public on the occasion of the New Year from the balcony of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. The Emperor wished the crowd – which amounted to more than 125,000 over the course of the day – “that this year will prove a gentle and spiritually fulfilling one for as many people as possible.” He was joined … Continue reading

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Imperial Family Gather For New Year’s Greetings at Palace

  January 1, 2018 at 7:20 am by

Adult members of the Japanese Imperial Family gathered at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Monday, January 1, for the annual New Year’s greetings delivered to Emperor Akihito. The Emperor and Empress led the festivities, where they received greetings for 2018 from the Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe; the heads of the National Diet chambers (the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors); lawmakers and foreign ambassadors listed to Japan. This … Continue reading

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Emperor Akihito To Abdicate In April 2019

  December 1, 2017 at 5:42 am by

Following a meeting of the Imperial Household Council on Friday morning, the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, has announced that Emperor Akihito will abdicate the throne on April 30, 2019. His son, Crown Prince Naruhito, will succeed the throne the following day, May 1. Emperor Akihito, who will be 85 when his abdication comes around, announced his wish to abdicate in a video broadcast to the Japanese people in August 2016. … Continue reading

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Luxembourg’s Grand Duke Begins State Visit to Japan

  November 27, 2017 at 7:04 pm by

Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg began a four-day state visit to Japan on Monday, accompanied by his daughter, Princess Alexandra. The visit’s purpose is to mark the 90th anniversary of bilateral relations between Luxembourg and Japan. The pair were welcomed at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, with whom they had a fifteen-minute audience after the Grand Duke reviewed the traditional military guard of honour … Continue reading

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Princess Laurentien In Japan

  November 26, 2017 at 1:47 am by

Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien paid a two-day visit to Japan to attend the ceremony in honour of the completion of the Omotemonbashi bridge of Dejima in Nagasaki on behalf of the Dutch Goverment. On Thursday November 23, first day in Japan, the Princess visited the Fukuoka-2 monument in Nagasaki, buildt in September 2015 to commemorate the foreign prisoners of war killed in the Fukuoka-2 prison of war.  The Princess … Continue reading

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Emperor Akihito Meets With US President Trump At Imperial Palace

  November 6, 2017 at 9:12 am by

The Emperor and Empress of Japan today welcomed United States President Donald Trump to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo for an audience. Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko greeted the President and his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, outside the Palace entrance before the 20-minute long audience, during which the monarch and the President discussed the strong relationship between Japan and the United States that has been achieved in the years … Continue reading

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Two Be(ne)lux State Visits Announced

  October 27, 2017 at 7:10 am by

Two Benelux State Visits have been announced yesterday. Both state visits will take place in November. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde will be visiting India from November 5th to 11th. The Belgian king and queen will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Didier Reynders and by the prime ministers of Belgium’s various regions and communities. The visit will focus mainly on New Delhi and Mumbai. The State Visit of the Grand … Continue reading

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Engagement of Princess Mako Officially Announced

  September 3, 2017 at 5:50 pm by

The engagement of Princess Mako of Akishino and Kei Komuro was officially announced on Sunday, with the betrothed pair attending a press conference at Akasaka Estate, the Princess’s family home in Tokyo. “I had already made up my mind, so I immediately accepted on the spot,” the Princess said of Mr Komuro’s proposal of marriage, that took place back in December 2013. Princess Mako said that the pair both “had an understanding … Continue reading

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Engagement of Princess Mako Delayed In Respect Of Natural Disaster Victims

  July 7, 2017 at 4:59 pm by

The official announcement of Princess Mako of Akishino’s engagement to Mr Kei Komuro has been postponed, the Imperial Household Agency has said Friday, out of respect to the victims of severe rains that have hit southern Japan this week. At least 11 people have been killed in southwest Japan as torrential rains hit the region, and thousands ordered to evacuate their homes. The betrothed couple were due to hold a press conference on … Continue reading

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Sayako Kuroda Made Supreme Priestess Of Holiest Shinto Shrine

  June 20, 2017 at 5:56 pm by

In accordance with decades-long tradition, Sayako Kuroda has been named the supreme priestess of Ise Jingū. She is replacing her aunt, Atsuko Ikeda, who held the position since 1988. The Ise Jingū Shinto Shrine is one of the most holy shrines in Japan, and is dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu. Since the end of World War Two and the disestablishment of State Shinto, the supreme priest and/or priestess is a position … Continue reading

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Princess Mary and Prince Naruhito Go For A Cruise

  June 20, 2017 at 12:48 pm by

Denmark’s Crown Princess played tour guide to the visiting Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan on Tuesday, as the pair went on a boat cruise through Copenhagen. Starting at Toldbodjn, Princess Mary and Prince Naruhito’s hour-long cruise took them past the famed Little Mermaid statue at Langelinie promenade, and UN City. They were joined by City and Port director Jens Kramer Mikkelsen, who explained to them North Sea developments. Crown Prince Naruhito is … Continue reading

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July 8th’s The Date! Princess Mako’s Engagement To Be Officially Announced

  June 19, 2017 at 8:13 pm by

The Imperial Household Agency today announced that the engagement between Princess Mako of Akishino and Mr Kei Komuro will be officially announced on Saturday July 8th. The announcement will come from Shinichiro Yamamoto, the Grand Steward of the Imperial Household Agency. Princess Mako and Mr Komuro, both 25, will hold a press conference later that day. It should be noted that while this will be the official announcement of the couple’s betrothal, … Continue reading

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Queen Margrethe Hosts Lunch For Visiting Japanese Crown Prince

  June 18, 2017 at 3:45 pm by

On Sunday, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark hosted a private luncheon at Fredensborg Palace for a special guest: the visiting Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan. The heir to the Japanese throne – who is set to become Emperor within the next three years after a law was passed to allow his father to abdicate – was greeted on the Palace steps by the Queen, as well as Crown Prince Frederik … Continue reading

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Crown Prince Naruhito’s Second Day In Denmark

  June 16, 2017 at 6:10 pm by

Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito joined Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik at the Kastellet in Copenhagen this morning, where they laid wreaths in honour of fallen Danish soldiers. After lunch, the two heirs opened a new exhibition ‘Japan in the Royal Palace’ at the Amalienborg Museum, which is made up of items the Danish Royal Family have received during visits to Japan over the years. At Copenhagen’s Playhouse in the evening a … Continue reading

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Danish Crown Princely Couple Welcome Japanese Counterpart To Copenhagen

  June 15, 2017 at 1:46 pm by

Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark today welcomed the Japanese Crown Prince, Naruhito, at Copenhagen Airport Kastrup, as he arrived in Denmark for a week-long official visit. The royal trio were all smiles as they greeted each other on the red carpet once Prince Naruhito had stepped off his plane. The purpose of the trip is to mark 150 years of diplomatic relations between Denmark and Japan. … Continue reading

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Japan’s Crown Prince Pledges ‘Heart and Soul’ To Emperorship

  June 13, 2017 at 8:16 pm by

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday ahead of his official visit to Denmark later this week, Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan has pledged to devote himself to the duties that come with becoming Japan’s Emperor. “I would like to give my whole heart and soul to every duty, including official duties I have already inherited from His Majesty,” the Prince said, when he was questioned about the constitutional role … Continue reading

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Abdication Law Approved By Japanese Parliament

  June 9, 2017 at 11:03 pm by

The Upper House of the Japanese Parliament on Friday approved a special law that will allow Emperor Akihito, 83, to abdicate within the next three years. It was the final step in granting the Emperor’s wish to retire, after he made his desire known in a television broadcast last August. It is expected the Emperor’s abdication will be set for December 2018, to coincide with his 85th birthday. It will … Continue reading

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