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  #81  
Old 11-27-2013, 06:13 AM
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IMPERIAL FAMILY WATCH: Emperor Akihito is in the slow lane when driving
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Like ordinary Japanese, Emperor Akihito--now a senior citizen--is obliged to renew his license when it expires and sit through lectures every three years to gauge whether he is still competent to sit behind the wheel. The 79-year-old Akihito passed his driving test in 1954.

While a common perception might be that the emperor is chauffeur-driven everywhere, it turns out that he enjoys pottering about the Imperial Palace in a gray Honda Integra, often with Empress Michiko in the passenger seat. [...]
***

Japan to switch to cremation for imperial couple

Japanese emperor will break burial tradition by being cremated

Revolution in Tokyo: Emperor, Empress to be cremated and buried in eco-friendly mausoleums
Quote:
In what constitutes a break with a 350-year-old tradition, Japan's imperial couple has decided to be cremated after they die. Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko also expressed a wish to be buried in a smaller eco-friendly mausoleum following funeral services that are as little socially disruptive as possible. [...]
EDITORIAL: Imperial couple’s funeral wishes should be respected
Quote:
[...] Serious debate should have been made on the funeral of the emperor as a symbol of the state when Hirohito died in 1989. But no such debate took place, and the funeral for Emperor Showa was actually conducted in a manner little different from that for his father, Emperor Taisho, who died in 1926.
The new policies could set the standards for the funerals of future emperors. The sincere attitude of the imperial couple, who have raised the issue on their own while they are still in good health, must have evoked favorable responses from many Japanese people.

The question is how to separate the funeral as a ceremony conducted by the imperial family as a Shinto ritual from Taiso-no-rei, the funeral held by the government for the emperor. In the case of Emperor Showa, these two kinds of funerals were conducted in succession in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in Tokyo, provoking public criticism from the viewpoint of the separation of religion and politics. This time, the government should clearly separate the two ceremonies and cleanse Taiso-no-rei of all religious elements.

The imperial couple has demonstrated that thinking about how to deal with the emperor’s death should not be treated as taboo. In particular, open and public debate should be made on the way Taiso-no-rei, which will be attended by many people from around the world, is carried out.

After Hirohito died, various events were canceled for long periods. There were widespread “voluntary restraints” on celebration ceremonies among the Japanese public. Some couples, for instance, postponed their wedding ceremonies. It is clear from the wishes voiced by the imperial couple that they don’t want their funerals to cause such excessive restrictions on people’s lives.
***

Heroic act helps thaw icy ties
Quote:
[...] Yan Jun, a 26-year-old Chinese student majoring in economics in Osaka, has melted the hearts of some Japanese people, if not the ice of bilateral relations. [...] After risking his life to save a nine-year-old Japanese boy who was drowning in Osaka on Sept 16, Yan was presented with a certificate of gratitude by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his official residence in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Receiving Yan at the Imperial Palace, Japanese Emperor Akihito also praised the young Chinese student for his bravery.

While a crowd waited on the bank for professional rescuers, Yan plunged into a flooded river in Osaka — twice — to rescue the boy, who was floundering in the water, shouting and screaming.

"I knew that I could make it the second time I jumped into the water," Yan said, after the award ceremony. [...]
***

Japan lawmaker incurs wrath over imperial taboo
Quote:
A fierce row over a breach of imperial etiquette has gripped Japan but commentators say the protocol slip is a convenient excuse to attack someone who dares to speak out. Actor-turned-politician Taro Yamamoto, who was elected to parliament as an independent on a strongly anti-nuclear platform, caused outrage by handing a letter to Emperor Akihito during a royal garden party on October 31. [...] He said he feared the figurehead was being shielded by his entourage from the truth about the extent of suffering more than two-and-a-half years after a huge tsunami smashed into the plant, causing meltdowns that forced tens of thousands from their homes. [...]

The charge of disrespecting the emperor is just a stick with which to beat Yamamoto, said Shinji Yamash.ita, a journalist specialising in royal matters -- a way to get at someone establishment figures regard as an uppity young man. [...]
The Emperor's Code: Breach Of Protocol Spurs Debate In Japan
Quote:
[...] The 38-year-old independent politician [Yamamoto] explained on his website that "very little progress has been made on the life-threatening situation [in Fukushima]. As time passed, I felt that only the emperor could understand the anguish and anxiety in my heart. My overwhelming love and respect for the emperor prompted me to write him." [...]

Instant polls on the Japanese Yahoo site and elsewhere showed scant sympathy for the pol gone rogue. Spurning calls for his removal from office, the Upper House instead decided to banish him from any future events where the emperor, who presides over the world's longest continuous royal line, would be present. [...]

The prohibition against pulling royals into politics didn't stop conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe from deploying a princess to bolster Japan's bid for the Olympics, nor from placing the emperor and empress at Japan's first "return of sovereignty" ceremony this year, seen as an exercise in nationalism. The center-left Democrats have also had their turn at dragging the royal family into politics.

There seems to be a residue of prewar lese-majeste animating the most apoplectic of the Yamamoto bashers. "In the old days, Yamamoto would have had to commit ritual disembowelment," one person fumed. "No, he wouldn't have been given the honor!" said another. "He would simply have been crucified!"

"Simply crucified" is perhaps the best way to describe the spleen still being vented at Yamamoto. Perhaps just as much a source of umbrage as anything else was his flouting of etiquette. More than one commentator has fulminated that the offending letter was, for goodness sakes, not even placed in a proper envelope!

Even Fukushima's benighted residents, while naturally more sympathetic toward someone who speaks so passionately on their behalf, have called him out for bad behavior. In a conservative country steeped in traditions, customs and rules governing the most minute aspects of public behavior, stepping out of line, even in the purported service of a noble cause, can only have consequences.
Japanese politician who handed Emperor Akihito letter receives death threat

Scandal-hit Japan lawmaker receives death threat

Actor-turned-politician receives death threat over imperial breach
Quote:
Taro Yamamoto, the actor-turned-lawmaker at the center of controversy for trying to involve Japan’s Emperor Akihito in politics, has received a knife and a death threat at his office in Tokyo. The envelope contained a knife and a message saying, “A group of assassins carrying knives will be sent to you shortly.” [...]

[Mitsuhiro Kimura, the president of the right-wing Issuikai group] says he was furious when he found out what Yamamoto did, but sending a knife to him is not acceptable. He said he understands the perceived sentiment of the sender, but it may be too much.
Nobody of his critics in Japan showed so much empathy for Yamamoto as to say that they "understood his emotions" but just thought that what he did "might be too much" like they do now with the person who threatens to kill him. Instead they called Yamamotos action highly disrespectful, outrageous and added that in the old days he would have had to commit ritual disembowelment! It is strikingly clear that sending Yamamoto death threats is perceived as much less grave by a lot of people in Japan than the fact that Yamamoto dared to hand the emperor a letter. There was a big uproar about what Yamamoto did. There was none at all because of the fact that a lawmaker would be receiving death threats just because he is trying to do something about the disastrous situation of the Fukushima victims!

Just for this once, I completely REFUSE to understand or tolerate this attitude. It is SICKENING!
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"In order to make the area inhabitable again, we face the difficult problem of removing radiation." - Emperor Akihito

(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperors statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
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  #82  
Old 11-30-2013, 10:42 AM
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On November 22 Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his wife were received by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace:



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  #83  
Old 12-13-2013, 11:41 AM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko received leaders of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) for a tea party at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on December 13.



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  #84  
Old 12-23-2013, 08:49 AM
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It's Emperor Akihito's 80th birthday today, December 23, 2013! Two new portraits taken on November 14, 2013 have therefore been released today.


** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 **


Pics of today's celebrations can be found here:


** Imperial Family of Japan Current Events 2: June 2008 - **
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  #85  
Old 12-27-2013, 01:57 PM
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Japans Kaiser wird achtzig: Der sanfte Rebell - Asien - FAZ
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  #86  
Old 01-08-2014, 09:24 AM
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Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his wife were received by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on January 8, 2014.



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  #87  
Old 01-09-2014, 09:02 AM
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On Wednesday, January 8, 2014, Their Imperial Majesties Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan held an audience the Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and his wife, Mrs. Emine Erdoğan, at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
Their Imperial Majesties Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan Meet with the Prime Minister of Turkey. (VIDEO) | The Royal Correspondent
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  #88  
Old 01-24-2014, 05:09 PM
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Emperor Akihito attended an ordinary session of the parliament in Tokyo today, January 24, 2014.



** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** Pic 3 **
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:16 AM
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Press Conference on the occasion of His Majesty's Birthday (2013)

Quote:
Question 1
[...] Looking back on Your eighty years, please tell us about any events that have left special impressions on You, and also, about Your thoughts on turning eighty, and how You would like to lead Your life in the coming years.
Answer 1
Regarding the question on what events have left me with special impressions over the past eighty years, I would say that what stands out most in my mind is the Second World War. Japan was already at war with China by the time I reached school age. The following year, on December 8th, Japan also entered into war with the United States, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, in addition to China. I was in my last year of elementary school when the war ended. About 3.1 million Japanese people are said to have lost their lives in that war. It still pains me deeply to think that so many people, who must have had various dreams and hopes for the future, lost their lives at a young age.

After the war, Japan was occupied by the allied forces, and based on peace and democracy as values to be upheld, established the Constitution of Japan, undertook various reforms and built the foundation of Japan that we know today. I have profound gratitude for the efforts made by the Japanese people at the time who helped reconstruct and improve the country devastated by the war. I also feel that we must not forget the help extended to us in those days by Americans with an understanding of Japan and Japanese culture. [...]

Being an emperor can be a lonely state. But with my marriage, I gained a partner who shares my appreciation for the things that I value. It has given me comfort and joy to have by my side the Empress, who has always respected my position and stood by me, and I feel most fortunate that I have been able to endeavor to carry out my role as Emperor with the Empress by my side. [...]
Akihitos 6-day tryst with India will leave a lasting impact


Emperor expresses concern about victims of disaster
January 1, 2014
Quote:
Emperor Akihito on Wednesday expressed his concern for those affected by the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that hit the northeastern part of Japan as the third winter since then has come around.

"At the dawn of the new year, my heart once again goes out to the afflicted people," the emperor said in his New Year's message, thinking of those who have to spend the cold winter in temporary housing and those who cannot return home due to the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. [...]

The Imperial Household Agency also released several 31-syllable "waka" poems written by the imperial couple in 2013 to celebrate New Year's Day.

In one of his five poems, the emperor touched on his visit to the pollution-hit city of Minamata in Kumamoto Prefecture on the southernmost main island of Kyushu, in October. Minamata is known as the site of one of the country's four worst pollution diseases -- the mercury poisoning known as the Minamata Disease.

Not knowing the cause

Of the disease plaguing them

Those struck by the illness

We cannot begin to fathom

Their hardships and sufferings.


He composed a waka on evacuees from the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant which was caused by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

How hard life must be

In winter in the regions

Struck by disaster

I wonder here in Tokyo

Where the sunshine is warm.


[...]

In one of her three poems, Empress Michiko took up the couple's visit in June to Tohno in Iwate Prefecture which was hit by the March 2011 disaster.

Oft I wondered

There must be a stream nearby

In Tohno on a visit

As I heard from somewhere a sound --

Water flowing so quietly.
Ein Kaiser, moderner als sein Land - very clever comment, unfortunately only in German
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"In order to make the area inhabitable again, we face the difficult problem of removing radiation." - Emperor Akihito

(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperors statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
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  #90  
Old 02-04-2014, 07:35 AM
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Yesterday, February 3, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko received Swiss President Didier Burkhalter and his wife at the Imperial Palace.



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Old 02-09-2014, 09:27 AM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko took a stroll on a beach near the Hayama Imperial Villa in the town of Hayama, Kanagawa Prefecture, on February 5, 2014. They stay in Hayama for a break until February 9.




** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** Pic 3 **


** svenskdam.se: Kejsarparet p promenad arm i arm p stranden ** translation **
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:16 AM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko met with Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak and his wife Lieom at the Imperial Palace on February 14.




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  #93  
Old 02-18-2014, 02:22 PM
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Thanks for the updates!
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko appear to have their usual agenda meeting foreign leaders as well as people in various prefecture of Japan.
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  #94  
Old 02-21-2014, 10:06 PM
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Saudi Crown Prince meets with Japanese emperor

Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud held talks Wednesday with Japans emperor on the second day of the Saudi officials state visit to Tokyo.

Emperor Akihito welcomed Prince Salman at the Tokyo Imperial Palace where also he hosted a luncheon in honor of the Saudi leader and the accompanying delegation.

During talks, Prince Salman expressed King Abdullah bin Abdul Azizs appreciation for Emperor Akihito.
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News...e-emperor.html
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:00 AM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited Izu Oshima Island, south of Tokyo, on February 28, 2014. The volcanic island was hit hard by mudslides triggered by a powerful typhoon in October 2013.



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Old 03-04-2014, 06:59 AM
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Empress Michiko visited an exhibition of the Asahide Specialized School at the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Tokyo on March 3, 2014.



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Old 03-07-2014, 12:41 PM
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Estonian Head of State president ,Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and Evelin Ilves met today in Tokyo with Emperor Akihito & Empress Michiko.

** Estonian Head of State met with the Emperor of Japan

* Pic 1 * Pic 2 * Pic 3* Pic 4
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:32 AM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended the national memorial service for the victims of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, in Tokyo today, March 11, 2014.



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Old 03-14-2014, 07:44 AM
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Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has been received by Emperor Akihito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on March 13, 2014:




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Old 03-25-2014, 08:49 AM
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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko departed from Tokyo on March 25, 2014 with boxes that contain the Imperial Regalia. They will visit Ise Shrine.




** Pic ** gettyimages gallery **


** nhk.or.jp: Imperial couple visiting Ise shrine **


** the-japan-news.com: Imperial sword, jewel taken to Ise Shrines **
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