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  #521  
Old 07-24-2018, 07:17 AM
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In Japan's case, the secretariat is being launched by the government instead of the IHA, and the government seems to play the stronger role in the preparations. The various committees will all be headed by government officials, and decisions such as excluding female royals from the accession rites and the next era name are being chosen by the government. I don't know about the European abdications, but weren't they prepared by the royal households with less involvement from the governments?
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  #522  
Old 07-24-2018, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
In Japan's case, the secretariat is being launched by the government instead of the IHA, and the government seems to play the stronger role in the preparations. The various committees will all be headed by government officials, and decisions such as excluding female royals from the accession rites and the next era name are being chosen by the government. I don't know about the European abdications, but weren't they prepared by the royal households with less involvement from the governments?
Regarding tye Netherlands, I'm sure the court worked hard but the government installed a national committee (with very few politicians) to organise and coordinate the celebrations surrounding the abdication and installment.
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  #523  
Old 08-03-2018, 02:45 AM
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Japan sets up secretariat to prepare for imperial succession - The Mainichi
Quote:
[...] The 26-member secretariat will be headed by Shigetaka Yamasaki, former director general of the Cabinet Affairs Office, who has extensive knowledge of the imperial system, officials said.

[...]

The Foreign Ministry also set up a secretariat the same day to prepare for accepting foreign dignitaries attending the Oct. 22 ceremony.

[...]

ETA: Editorial: Imperial succession ceremonies should match our modern era - The Mainichi
Quote:
[...] The cost of the Daijosai is born by the Imperial Household, but as this is funded by the government, ultimately the ceremony will be covered by the public purse. There remain deep-rooted questions about this point from the viewpoint of the separation of religion and state mandated by the Constitution.

[...]

Public expenditures related to the enthronement of Emperor Akihito hit some 12.3 billion yen, and the cost drew plenty of criticism. The Daijokyu, a palace built just for the Daijosai, was demolished after the ceremony, and many of the materials for the structure were disposed of as well. For the coming ceremony, we call on organizers to economize as much as possible, including reusing materials.

[...] The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, however, pays excessive heed to its more conservative elements, and its stance of simply pressing ahead with discussions will not suffice.

[...] One glaring example of this is the plan to exclude female members of the Imperial Family from important ceremonies.

It has been pointed out that coordination between the prime minister's office and the Imperial Household Agency on points such as the schedule for the succession remains insufficient. [...]
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  #524  
Old 08-07-2018, 02:59 AM
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Commemorative 10,000 yen and 500 yen coins for Emperor Akihito's 30 year reign. The Ministry of Finance will issue 50,000 copies of the gold 10,000 yen coin and 5 million of the copper 500 yen coins. Each pure gold 10,000 yen coin costs 138,000 yen and weighs 20 grams. [Mainichi]

https://twitter.com/MOF_Japan/status...57793950904320

Gov't mulls amnesty for disgraced bureaucrats when Crown Prince ascends to throne in 2019 - The Mainichi
Quote:
[…]

Major national celebratory events, such as the ascension of new emperor or the birth of a crown prince, or mourning events such as an emperor's funeral, are usually accompanied by amnesties. Criminal punishment is struck down or commuted without a trial. Waivers of punishment for bureaucrats as part of these amnesties were made on three occasions out of the 10 times amnesties have been granted under the current Constitution: when the Treaty of Peace with Japan took effect in 1952 to officially end the war between Japan and the Allied forces, when Okinawa was returned to Japan from U.S. administrative rule in 1972 and when Emperor Showa's funeral was held in 1989.

[…]

Some officials in the government say that following the 1989 precedent is appropriate. But if the same standards are applied, punishments handed down in recent cases that drew strong public rebuke could be eliminated, risking rekindling public resentment over the scandals.

[…]
ETA: Japan to issue coins commemorating Emperor Akihito's 30-year reign - The Mainichi

Getty Images
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  #525  
Old 08-20-2018, 12:53 PM
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In June, the IHA began disassembly and preparation for land transport of the takamikura and michodai thrones at Kyoto Imperial Palace. The thrones will be dissembled 3 times; twice for confirmation of repair work and assembly training, then a third time for transportation to Tokyo in September.

The second disassembly began on August 20th. Removing the decorative brackets, vermillion balustrade, and staircase sections took about an hour. It takes about 2 weeks to disassemble and reassemble each 1,500 piece throne.

Sources: Asahi, Sankei

Photos show the tags and some protective coverings:
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/ima...03486_comm.jpg
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/ima...03494_comm.jpg
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/ima...03800_comm.jpg
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/ima...03753_comm.jpg
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/ima...03764_comm.jpg
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/ima...03797_comm.jpg


ETA: Throne work exhibited | Nippon TV NEWS24 JAPAN

ETA: Getty Images
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  #526  
Old 08-21-2018, 02:25 AM
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There's a possibility the enthronement parade will use a carriage since the Rolls Royce is not an option; it's still undecided whether there'll be attempts to repair or replace the vehicle. The IHA manages 4 carriages which are called No. 1, 2, 3, and 4. Most were made in the late Meiji to early Showa years.

No. 1: used for the enthronement of Emperor Showa (Hirohito) in 1928 and currently kept in the horse garage
No. 2: used in 1959 for then-CP Akihito and CP Michiko's wedding parade. In November 1990, No.2 carried Emperor Akihito to report his enthronement at Ise Shrine.
No. 3: carried Empress Michiko for the Ise shrine visit in November 1990
No. 4: most active in operation. This is the carriage bringing ambassadors of Japan to present their credentials to His Majesty.

No.2 and No.3 are undergoing maintenance in anticipation for the new emperor and empress' visit to Ise Shrine in 2019.

Source: Sankei

No. 1:
http://www.sankei.com/images/news/18...8210002-p1.jpg

No. 2:
http://www.sankei.com/images/news/18...8210002-p2.jpg
https://media.gettyimages.com/photos...re-id956252854
https://media.gettyimages.com/photos...re-id956252850
https://media.gettyimages.com/photos...re-id956247948

No. 3:
https://media.gettyimages.com/photos...re-id956250510
https://media.gettyimages.com/photos...re-id956243776

No. 4:
https://media.gettyimages.com/photos...re-id450566875
https://media.gettyimages.com/photos...re-id450489961
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  #527  
Old 08-21-2018, 02:37 AM
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I hope they will use carriage #1.
It's the most stylish.
It's however closed, but Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko are elderly, so I think it's better they use a closed carriage.

Let the new Imperial Couple ride the open ones.
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  #528  
Old 08-25-2018, 04:24 PM
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Prince Akishino questions use of public funds on religious Imperial enthronement rites - The Mainichi
Quote:
[...] Prince Akishino stated his concern in reference to the "Daijosai," or Grand Thanksgiving rite, in which the new emperor will offer new rice to the gods for the first time with a prayer for an abundant harvest after he accedes to the throne next May. The rite is expected to take place from Nov. 14 to 15 next year inside the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace [...]

Critics have pointed out that spending public funds on the Daijosai, which is highly religious, violates the principle of separation of religion and government as guaranteed by the Constitution.

[...]

The Daijosai at the start of the Heisei era cost some 2.25 billion yen total, including the approximately 1.4-billion-yen spent on building a venue for the Daijokyu-no-gi, a central event within the Daijosai. [...]

Ordinary Imperial rites are covered by funds allocated for the private living expenses of the Emperor and Empress, and the Crown Prince and his family. Public Imperial activities, meanwhile, are covered by public Imperial funds. The government plans to allocate a budget for the Daijosai from public Imperial funds, but Prince Akishino has expressed his concern about this plan.

In addition to making clear that he was worried about having massive amounts of public Imperial funds spent to cover the ceremony, he has asked whether it is possible to pare down the ceremony itself, so that the private living funds of the Imperial Family could be used to pay for the ceremony. The Imperial Family was allocated private living funds of 324 million yen for fiscal 2018.

[...] A senior official from the Imperial Household Agency told the Mainichi Shimbun that they are not aware of Prince Akishino's concerns regarding the Daijosai.

"I'd like to welcome (Prince Akishino's concern) as an honest opinion of someone who will be the first in the line of succession," said Susumu Shimazono, a religious scholar and a professor at Sophia University who is well-versed in Imperial rites. [...]
Emperor Hirohito aide criticized gov't for staging "incongruous" ascension rite - Kyodo News
Quote:
[...]

The late chamberlain Shinobu Kobayashi also wrote about his "fears" that the enthronement ceremony, "held for the first time under the new Constitution, might be used as a precedent for holding the ceremony in the future."

[...]

Kobayashi, who died in 2006, cast doubt about Sokuirei Seiden no Gi, a highlight event for an incoming emperor.

The chamberlain, who worked for the imperial household even after Emperor Hirohito's death, was cynical of mixed styles of dresses worn by the Japanese participants in the ceremony held on Nov 12, 1990.

The new emperor and empress, other members of the imperial household and Imperial Household Agency officials were clad in traditional garments originating in the 10th century, while the heads of the three branches of government, including then Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu, were wearing Western-style tailcoats, Kobayashi noted.

He called the ceremony "an old-fashioned ceremony conducted in a stage setting that was entirely incongruous," adding that if all of the Japanese participants had worn the same Western-style clothing as the top government officials, "it would not have cost billions of yen."

He also wrote about his displeasure with top officials in the Cabinet Legislation Bureau who gave "detailed instructions" on how to stage the ceremony, including where to place state and privy seals, in an attempt to weaken the religious nature of the event amid controversy over the separation of religion and state stipulated in the Constitution.

The Cabinet Legislation Bureau officials insisted the seals were non-religious items, and instructed they be displayed prominently during the ceremony, according to Kobayashi's diary.

"They believe that if the state and privy seals had been placed in an obscure place, the purpose to weaken the religious nature would not have been fulfilled," he wrote, adding, "how timid they are."

[...]
I saw grumbling on Japanese twitter about Prince Akishino possibly undermining his brother and suspicion regarding Akishino family's media connections after various leaks.
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  #529  
Old 08-25-2018, 05:05 PM
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Hmm seems rather backhanded for Akishino to be critical of events for his brothers accession rights, tbh in any royal family it would see odd, in the Japanese Imperial family its unbelievable.
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  #530  
Old 08-25-2018, 05:30 PM
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Interesting perspective. Is he just not religious or truly backstabbing (him having a third child most likely also felt like it for Naruhito and Masako - while probably also a slight relief).
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  #531  
Old 08-25-2018, 08:06 PM
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It is odd to see the critical articles about the future enthronement ceremony appearing in the media. Does it mean that factions of the Imperial family are engaged in public squabbles?
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  #532  
Old 09-01-2018, 02:45 AM
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I don't know but why not ask Naruhito since he will become emperor in May, not Akishino. It is clear even the IHA staff had issues leading up to Emperor Akihito's 1990 enthronement as seen in the late chamberlain Shinobu Kobayashi's diaries.

For myself, I do wish to see the Imperial family in traditional 10th century clothes. Assuming the IHA has taken care of the garments since 1990, and the robes they already have for weddings, they wouldn't need new clothes for everyone this time. Maybe some IHA staff can wear Western-clothing or have fewer participants; Akihito and Michiko had a bunch of attendants in traditional clothes. I don't expect Prince Hitachi, Princess Hanako, or Princess Yuriko to attend due to mobility issues... unless they get dressed up and attend in wheelchairs. In 1990, Princess Takamatsu walked in and a chair was brought in for her. Princess Chichibu didn't attend.

1.9 B. Yen Sought for Imperial Succession-Related Costs in FY 2019 - JIJI PRESS
Quote:
The Imperial Household Agency has unveiled its budget request for fiscal 2019 including 1,916 million yen to cover costs related to Emperor Akihito's abdication and Crown Prince Naruhito's accession to the throne.

In particular, 794 million yen will be needed to replace the Imperial Palace's water supply and drainage equipment and 231 million yen to expand and remodel the residence of Prince Akishino [...]

The total costs for the three-year residence renovation work are estimated at around 3.3 billion yen.

Planning to increase the number of staff by 36, [...]
Total staff per household for 2019:
Joko (Akihito): 65
Emperor (Naruhito): 75
Crown Prince Akishino: 51

The request does not yet include the funds for the abdication or succession rites on April 30/May 1 or the Daijosai in November.
Source: Sankei

Aerial photo of the Akishino residence (bottom) and the nearby residence (top) that will be connected:
https://twitter.com/ami_j3/status/1035484015564738560

Gov't budget requests for FY 2019 hit record high - The Mainichi
Quote:
The Foreign Ministry asked for 810.1 billion yen, up 16 percent, to cover the cost of hosting the Group of 20 summit and ministerial meetings in the country and receiving foreign dignitaries for a ceremony marking Crown Prince Naruhito's accession to emperor following the abdication of Emperor Akihito.
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  #533  
Old 09-17-2018, 11:36 PM
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Gov't criticized for failure to record discussion on Imperial succession - The Mainichi
Quote:
[...]

The Mainichi Shimbun filed a freedom of information request with the Imperial Household Agency, which served as the Imperial Household Council's secretariat, regarding "every document and electromagnetic record it has obtained, made and possessed" concerning the meeting.

[...]

The agency released more than 130 pages of documents between March and July. But they only included a "letter of resolution" describing the council's decision and invitations to join the meeting directed to Diet members. The only record of the proceedings of the meeting was a summary. [...]

[... Next section describes what happened at the December 1, 2017 council when the abdication date was decided and the omission / vague summary released ...]

The Public Records and Archives Management Act stipulates that the process of making important decisions by government officials be recorded. Yukiko Miki, chairperson of the nonprofit organization Access-Info Clearing House Japan, said the gist of discussions at the Imperial Household Council is "far from a record of process." She added that the prime minister and the members of his Cabinet are not convincing when saying they were making "every effort to tackle the management of public documents" while handling the record of the meeting this way.

Meanwhile, at least four records of Imperial Household Council meetings and Imperial Family council meetings under the prewar Imperial Household Act contain every participant's remarks.

One of the Imperial Household Council meetings held in 1958, one year before the marriage of the Emperor and the Empress, was chaired by then Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, the grandfather of Prime Minister Abe. According to a copy of the meeting's minutes obtained by professor Yohei Mori of Seijo University under a freedom of information request, Prime Minister Kishi asked Takeshi Usami, then grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency, if an overseas trip taken by Empress Michiko, then Crown Prince Akihito's fiancee, "had anything to do with religion."

[...]

Usami is quoted as saying they conducted objective investigations but "the facts show nothing worrisome." The agency chief went on to say that there were "rumors that some Catholic people maneuvered underground" concerning the marriage, but that the hearsay was "groundless."

Professor Mori said the record is valuable "because each and every word uttered by the participants is recorded in detail." He suggested that Prime Minister Kishi's true intention in asking the question about religion was to leave a record that the council addressed the matter and approved it.

Prewar Imperial Family council meetings also have detailed records on who said what, [...]

In a November 1921 meeting presided over by then Crown Prince Hirohito -- later Emperor Showa -- a decision was made to name him as prince regent for Emperor Taisho (1879-1926). One of the participating Imperial Family members revealed that they had read a doctor's diagnosis of Emperor Taisho, and expressed that "considering the situation, I do not think it is possible for him to complete his calling."

When Crown Prince Hirohito asked for opinions, participants asked to speak and did so after approval by the chair [...] The minutes also have accompanying documents, and the portion of pages apparently pertaining to the medical condition of Emperor Taisho is covered entirely by a bag with an "undisclosed" stamp.

Associate professor Hajime Sebata of Nagano Prefectural College, a specialist in Japanese contemporary political history, the Imperial Household system and public document management, pointed out that the current government's attitude toward public documents is "backward even compared to prewar standards."

[...]
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  #534  
Old 09-18-2018, 08:06 AM
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Personally I am unsurprised about the lack of transparency from the IHA and the current administration regarding the succession. The surprise would have been if there had been detailed minutes. It certainly is a strong contrast to other, previous, sensitive discussions, though, especially the meeting concerning (then) CP Michiko and the Catholic connection.
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  #535  
Old 09-26-2018, 01:01 AM
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On September 26th, the takamikura and michodai thrones arrived at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo around 9:40am. 30 workers spent the previous day loading about 250 boxes into 8 trucks and left Kyoto Imperial Palace at 11pm.

Photos: Mainichi, Sankei
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  #536  
Old 09-29-2018, 01:16 AM
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Sankei article with Kazuhiko Okamoto (age 66) who worked for Kyoto Imperial Palace for over 30 years.

- He began his employment in 1978 in the clothing department. Okamoto also served at Their Majesties at the Imperial Palace and the Crown Prince couple for about 10 years.
- He frequently traveled to Tokyo for more than a year leading up to Emperor Akihito's enthronement.
- For 3 days, he and 11 Kyoto Imperial Palace colleagues discussed and rehearsed with Their Majesties.
- Besides the Heian period robes for the Imperial family, over 100 IHA members needed clothes which required 6 pieces for each person.
- Dressing took about 20 minutes per person. Those dressing multiple people were pressed for time.
- 2 people were in charge of dressing the IHA Grand Steward and Vice Grand Steward.

Okamoto retired 3 years ago but decided to oversee the dressing for the enthronement ceremony next October 22nd. He already went to Tokyo in September to begin training the clerk in charge.

He never thought to be involved another enthronement. He is happy to be involved again and looks forward to seeing the crown prince on the Takamikura throne.
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  #537  
Old 10-10-2018, 01:25 AM
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The government is considering April 2020 for Prince Akishino's Rikkoshi-no-Rei ceremony, investiture as Koshi aka Crown Prince. The ritual/ceremonial committee, headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, will hold its first meeting on the 12th.

Sources: Sankei, Mainichi

ETA: English article is now available at Ceremony to announce Prince Akishino as Imperial heir slated for April 2020 - The Mainichi
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  #538  
Old 10-11-2018, 01:03 PM
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There won't be any regular garden parties in 2019 due to abdication/accession events.

The spring garden party, usually in April, is canceled.
The autumn garden party, usually in November, will move to October and only for foreign guests attending the enthronement.

Emperor Akihito's last garden party to be held in November - The Mainichi
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  #539  
Old 10-12-2018, 12:32 AM
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Ritual to mark Prince Akishino's promotion to be held in April 2020 - The Mainichi
Quote:
[...] The state occasion to be held on April 19, 2020, will notify the public that the 52-year-old prince has become "koshi," the title given to the first in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne. [...]

The emperor's elder son, Crown Prince Naruhito, 58, is scheduled to accede to the throne on May 1, 2019, and his enthronement ceremony will be held on Oct. 22 next year.

Abe also said the government plans to designate May 1 next year, when the new emperor will ascend the throne, as a one-off holiday [...]

The "Rikkoshi no Rei" ritual for Prince Akishino will be held for the first time because the new title was created for the younger brother, rather than the son, of the new emperor under special legislation enabling the abdication of Emperor Akihito [...]

[...]

Other major state occasions include "Taiirei Seiden no Gi," in which the emperor will extend his last words to the chiefs of the three branches of the government on the day of his abdication, and "Sokuirei Seiden no Gi," a highlight event for the new emperor to be attended by guests from home and abroad.

The government will also sponsor a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the enthronement of Emperor Akihito on Feb. 24 next year.
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  #540  
Old 10-14-2018, 01:35 AM
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Not much new except the committee members and how frequently they'll meet.

National holiday planned for day when Naruhito ascends throne: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:
[...] Abe is heading a special committee that was established on Oct. 12 to prepare for next year's imperial succession [...]

The new committee will meet about once every month or two months to discuss various ceremonies that will be held in conjunction with the abdication by Emperor Akihito on April 30, 2019.

[...]

The meeting on Oct. 12 also approved the rough outline for a government-sponsored ceremony to be held on Feb. 24, 2019, to mark the 30th anniversary of Akihito's ascension to the throne. The ceremony will basically be similar to the one held for the 20th anniversary and representatives from various fields who have made noticeable achievements will be invited.

The committee is made up of Abe; Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga; the three deputy chief Cabinet secretaries, Yasutoshi Nishimura, Kotaro Nogami and Kazuhiro Sugita; Yusuke Yokobatake, the director-general of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau; Grand Steward Shinichiro Yamamoto from the Imperial Household Agency; and Takashi Kawachi, vice minister in the Cabinet Office.
Gov't looks to avoid controversy, advance plans for Imperial enthronement rites - The Mainichi
Quote:
[...]

"While being based on the Heisei (events), the ceremonies need to match the current times. The issues to be considered are diverse, from security to the receiving of foreign delegates and medical assistance for people at the ceremonies," [Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga] said.

Details of the ceremonies next year are due to be worked out by the end of this year to meet the deadline for compiling the fiscal 2019 budget.

[...] Some points of contention remain, however -- such as where the prime minister will stand in the Sokuirei-Seiden-no-gi [enthronement] ceremony. Before World War II, the emperor was held as a living god, so the prime minister called out "Long live the emperor" from the garden outside the venue. In the ceremony marking the start of the Heisei era, then Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu instead spoke in the same Matsu-no-Ma room where the Emperor was. However, the Emperor's position upon the raised Takamikura throne, an elaborate throne based on a Japanese mythological descent from heaven, meant that the prime minister had to look up to him. This raised questions from the perspective of the Constitution's stipulation that sovereign power resides with the people.

Nobuo Ishihara, then deputy chief Cabinet secretary, told the Mainichi Shimbun in an interview in April this year that there were time restrictions with the previous ceremonies, held after the demise of the Emperor Showa (known in life as Emperor Hirohito). As a result, officials weren't able to consider every detail of the ceremonies, and therefore made minimal changes to ceremonies held under the prewar Meiji constitution.

[...]

-- Simplification of events

Meanwhile, simplification of related rites has emerged as an issue. Imperial Household Agency head Shinichiro Yamamoto, who spoke at the committee launched on Oct. 12, suggested that the style and number of banquets held as part of "Kyoen-no-gi," a ceremony to celebrate the accession of the new emperor, should be considered. For Emperor Akihito's enthronement, seven sit-down feasts were held over four days, with some 2,900 people attending. Participants included both foreign guests and representatives from the private sector. Three banquets were also held for the Daikyo-no-gi ceremony, an event inviting participants from the Daijosai rite.

Yamamoto further suggested that an existing facility be used for the Sokuirei-Seiden-no-gi enthronement proclamation ceremony, limiting the number of attendees, to handle the possibility of bad weather. Last time about 2,200 people from Japan and overseas attended, and temporary seating was set up outdoors to handle the large number of participants.

[...]
Aerial photo of the Daijosai structure on November 21, 1990:
https://cdn.mainichi.jp/vol1/2018/10...a024000p/8.jpg
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