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  #541  
Old 10-14-2018, 03:29 AM
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Thanks Prisma for keeping us updated on the preparations.

And long live red tape!

The court and civil service have sure managed to make a very big deal out of this!
I see countless meetings, reports, drafts, suggestions and estimations passing countless desks and countless offices these months!
It's akin to the wonderful series Yes, Minister - where they had to employ tens of thousands of new civil servants in order to administrate the slimming down of the bureaucracy in the Ministry of Administration.

I believe it has happened once or twice before in Japanese history that a new emperor ascended the throne...
So why not use the last enthronement as a blueprint for this one? The only difference this time is that the old emperor is still alive when this goes on.
Unless of course he ruins the whole thing by dying before the whole show starts! You'd forgive him for doing just that, because it sure has taken time to set up this abdication!

And when you compare this to countries like Belgium, Spain and the Vatican, where abdications are far from normal, yet took place without too much fuss and pretty quickly, then this becomes almost comical.
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  #542  
Old 10-28-2018, 02:27 PM
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So will the current emperor once he abdicates recluse and never to be seen again?
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  #543  
Old 11-04-2018, 12:44 AM
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Toward a New Era: Tug of war over timing of new era name release continues - The Mainichi
Quote:
[...]

On one side stand a group of people including Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kazuhiro Sugita, 77, who thinks the era name should be announced at least one month in advance of the succession on May 1, 2019. Their opponents are a conservative group of politicians and their supporters linked to the Nippon Kaigi (Japan Conference) organization, including Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Seiichi Eto, 71. They think that the announcement must be made by the new emperor -- after his enthronement.

[...]

This confrontation is over fundamental recognition about to which the era belongs -- the people or the emperor, and no immediate end to the faceoff is in sight.

As Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stood on the stairs of his office for a photo session with his newly chosen state and parliamentary vice ministers on the afternoon of Oct. 4, Eto visited the office of Sugita, Abe's top bureaucratic aide.

[...]

In his meeting with Sugita, Eto demanded the new era name be announced after the new emperor takes the throne on May 1.

"Unless the announcement is made after the succession, it will affect the authority of His Majesty," argued Eto, according to people familiar with the conversation. "It is against the system of 'one reign, one era.' Never once in our history was the announcement made prior to the ascension."

Sugita replied that the announcement should be made beforehand with public convenience in mind. "It should be one month in advance, considering the time needed for computer system adjustments," he added. Neither of them budged from their positions.

[...]

Their discussion continued for over an hour. In the end, no decision was made on the announcement date, and now we are a mere six months away from the Imperial succession. [...]
Toward a New Era: Computer system managers worry about confusion over changeover - The Mainichi
Quote:
[...] In the case of calendars, their printing is usually finished by the spring of the previous year. Many publishers have decided to skip the era designation in their 2019 calendars to avoid confusion.

One calendar publisher decided to use a generic era name in its calendar for 2019. In the calendar featuring the members of the Imperial Household published by the Kikuyo Court Culture Institute, the 31st year of the Heisei Era continues until April, when Emperor Akihito abdicates, and May, when Crown Prince Naruhito is set to become the new Emperor, is printed as the first month of a "New Era."

Business organizers are printed every year using calendar information as of the end of February the previous year. [...] "It is unfortunate that we cannot release an organizer for the first year of the new era with the era name in it."

Under the current circumstances, organizers with the new era name for its second year may not make the deadline. Many people in the industry are saying, "The earlier the better" about the timing of the new era name release.

Companies that manage computer systems for government agencies also worry about confusion over the era name change that's only six months away.

[...]

Anticipating chaos, some local governments have gone ahead on their own and stopped using the era system, at least partially. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government replaced the era system with the Western calendar for some of qualification certificates it issues. The Osaka Prefectural Government has also instructed its officials to use western dates in documents related to long-term projects. Many central government offices had used the era system for dates on their computer systems, but now they are transitioning to typing in Western dates and output era dates.

[...]
Toward a New Era: Conservative group wants to repeat past naming success - The Mainichi
Quote:
The Nippon Kaigi (Japan Conference) conservative group insists that the announcement of new era name along with the planned Imperial succession on May 1. 2019, must be after the enthronement of the new emperor. But why do these members stick with this position against the government's plan for an advance announcement?

[...]

Let's fast rewind back to March 1975, when liberal or leftist political forces were still strong in Japan. One Diet testimony pushed the conservatives into a crisis mode, triggering a deep fear that the Imperial era name system would vanish.

Reijiro Tsunoda, then head of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau's First Department, said at a House of Representatives Budget Committee session: "The era name of Showa is in use as a custom. If something happens to His Majesty, Showa will vanish at that instant. Then a period of void will begin."

[...]

"We thought that if the era name was gone, so was the posthumous name of the Emperor, who is at the center of Japan," recalled Masakuni Murakami, 86, former leader of ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) legislators in the House of Councillors of the national Diet.

However, the confrontations between the liberals and the conservatives were more intense back then in Japan's political arena. Few people in Tokyo's Nagatacho, Japan's political nerve center, showed interest in the era name issue, according to Murakami, who spearheaded a successful national movement of conservative groups to introduce a law to support the era name system.

Facing such a crisis, a conservative activist devised a strategy to win over Nagatacho. [...]

The grassroots, three-stage project was formed like this: On the initial state, members formed a "caravan" visiting many locations nationwide to establish local chapters. They then urged their local assemblies to seek the introduction of an era name law. In the final stage, they organized a group of national lawmakers to press the central government to realize the legalization.

[...]

Within less than a year, they succeeded to get petitions passed by many local assemblies including those for 46 of the nation's 47 prefectures. Backed by this "public opinion," the activists pressed the government to listen to them.

According to press reports around that time, then Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda met with Kazuto Ishida, former Supreme Court chief justice and the head of the national group seeking the establishment of the era name law, on Aug. 17, 1978. Fukuda then commented, "I am surprised to know that so many local assemblies passed resolutions" supporting legalization.

[...] In June 1979, the Era Name Act became a reality.

Nihon wo Mamoru-kai became the Nippon Kaigo in 1997, succeeding the movement know-how accumulated by its predecessor. On the issue of constitutional revisions that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seeking, the conference has asked local assemblies to pass resolutions demanding the legal change in a bid to support the premier.

[...] the conservative camp had to give up its position on the abdication issue as a wide variety of people supported the Emperor stepping down. Therefore, the timing of an era announcement is an issue critical to the conservatives. [...]
Japan mulls holding of celebration event next fall for new emperor | The Japan Times
Quote:
Lawmakers and business leaders plan to hold an event next fall to celebrate the ascension of the new emperor, political sources said Saturday.

[...]

The celebration to be organized by political and business circles will be held separately after the enthronement ceremony, according to the sources.

A similar celebratory event was held on Nov. 17, 1990, five days after Emperor Akihito’s enthronement ceremony.

On that day, tens of thousands of people holding paper lanterns and national flags took to the streets of Tokyo, and the Emperor and Empress Michiko greeted an estimated 47,000 people who gathered in front of the Imperial Palace, raising their lanterns.

[...]
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  #544  
Old 11-04-2018, 02:18 AM
Muhler's Avatar
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Astonishing!

Your updates on the trivialities of this abdication are remarkable, Prisma.
I envision a number of people at these meetings discussing in what way to split hairs, before even beginning to actually argue about the issues!
Should the Emperor have the untimely temerity to die a few days before the abdication then I predict a large number of collective break-downs!

I'll ask a completely wild question here: Has anyone thought about inquiring about the opinion and wishes of the Emperor and the Crown Prince?
That could solve a hand full of these stalemates.
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  #545  
Old 11-04-2018, 11:06 AM
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According to the Mainichi articles, the traditionalists supporting the delay are willing to disrupt the operations of businesses and services and the daily lives of millions of residents, just to ensure that the emperor's "authority" and the traditionalists' influence on government policy are evident to the public?

I hope the Mainichi is inaccurate and that those traditionalists are not driven by such self-serving considerations.
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  #546  
Old 11-06-2018, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
Astonishing!

Your updates on the trivialities of this abdication are remarkable, Prisma.
I envision a number of people at these meetings discussing in what way to split hairs, before even beginning to actually argue about the issues!
Should the Emperor have the untimely temerity to die a few days before the abdication then I predict a large number of collective break-downs!

I'll ask a completely wild question here: Has anyone thought about inquiring about the opinion and wishes of the Emperor and the Crown Prince?
That could solve a hand full of these stalemates.
You're welcome. Yes, this process is certainly...uh, something.
I wish someone would consult the Emperor or Crown Prince. Unlikely as the government would probably view their input as getting political and the Imperial family has to stay out of politics...blah blah blah
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
According to the Mainichi articles, the traditionalists supporting the delay are willing to disrupt the operations of businesses and services and the daily lives of millions of residents, just to ensure that the emperor's "authority" and the traditionalists' influence on government policy are evident to the public?

I hope the Mainichi is inaccurate and that those traditionalists are not driven by such self-serving considerations.
It appears so. If the government (and IHA) truly considered "avoiding confusion in people's lives" the top priority, the abdication would be sooner and new era started on January 1st. I think New Year's greetings can be skipped for a year.

The traditionalists may end up winning the battle but losing the war. What if local governments and other institutions keep the Western calendar instead of going back to the era name?
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  #547  
Old 11-13-2018, 12:56 AM
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Citizens to file suit against new emperor's enthronement rites - The Mainichi
Quote:
At least 120 people are planning to file a lawsuit to stop the Japanese government from using taxpayers' money for rituals to mark the enthronement of a new emperor next year, members said Thursday.

The citizens, including members of Christian groups and Buddhist monks, aim to file the suit with the Tokyo District Court in early December, claiming that funding what they deem as religious ceremonies out of public coffers violates the constitutional principle of separation of religion and state.

[...]

Similar suits had been filed against the state when the now 84-year-old emperor was enthroned in November 1990 [...]

While all suits filed over the previous enthronement rites were rejected by courts, the Osaka High Court's ruling in March 1995 said it cannot deny the suspicion that they violate the constitutional principle of separation of religion and state.

Koichi Yokota, a constitution expert and honorary professor at Kyushu University, said, "The enthronement ceremony itself has numerous problems from the standpoint of the constitutional principle of separation of religion and state and sovereignty of the people," citing lack of sufficient constitutional reviews on the pre-war era rituals.

[...]

In contrast, Isao Tokoro, professor emeritus at Kyoto Sangyo University specializing in the history of the formation of Japanese laws, said how to fund the ceremonies was decided after thorough debate held upon the previous occasion and they are constitutional.

"The Constitution itself states the heredity of the imperial throne, and I believe Japan should hold a ceremony and ritual for passing down that special status and role in a regal manner," he said.
Gov't OKs bill to make 10-day holiday around 2019 imperial succession - The Mainichi
Quote:
The Japanese Cabinet on Tuesday approved a bill to assign one-off holidays related to the imperial succession next year, creating a 10-day Golden Week holiday period from late April.

[...]

The rare 10-day vacation period will begin on April 27, which falls on a Saturday.

The bill will create another holiday on Oct. 22, the day of a major enthronement ceremony.

[...]
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  #548  
Old 11-13-2018, 02:07 AM
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I wonder if any members of other royal families around the world will at anytime be invited to the enthronement of the crown prince? Or will be be viewed in the world for all of us to see.....seems most interesting and wonder if the crown princess plays a role or does she automatically become an empress without any ceremony.

I find this very interesting as this to me seems like a secret affair in some parts.
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  #549  
Old 11-13-2018, 03:03 AM
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Emperor Akihito's enthronement in 1990 was televised. Royalty, heads of state, diplomats, etc. were invited. I certainly expect Naruhito's enthronement to be streamed live. I believe the consort automatically becomes empress without additional ceremony.

1990 enthronement with English commentary (although it overlaps with Japanese commentary):
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  #550  
Old 11-13-2018, 03:33 AM
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Thank you Prisma for answering my questions! This is an interesting country to me for at times it seems still set back in the ages of dawn in the way they do things or view life. The lack of understanding that a woman can be Empress without a man is one of them....as their history has shown there are women who have been Empresses and ruled on their own.
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  #551  
Old 11-13-2018, 03:49 AM
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Nothing serious IMO.

Just the usual attention-seekers. If it wasn't the enthronement it would be something else.
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  #552  
Old 11-19-2018, 12:42 AM
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The government is planning to purchase a Japanese car for the enthronement parade. Toyota is strongly seen as the supplier. However, the government will own the car this time, not the IHA, and it will be used for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Sources: Asahi, Jiji

Awee, I wanted a carriage...

ETA: English article and video

Next Emperor's ride in accession parade will be Japanese | The Japan Times

New domestic vehicle for Emperor's accession ceremony | Nippon TV NEWS24 JAPAN
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  #553  
Old 11-19-2018, 04:02 AM
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Well, at least they won't have to walk...
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  #554  
Old 11-19-2018, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
The government is planning to purchase a Japanese car for the enthronement parade. Toyota is strongly seen as the supplier. However, the government will own the car this time, not the IHA, and it will be used for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Sources: Asahi, Jiji

Awee, I wanted a carriage...
The carriages are always nice, but this actually makes a lot of sense--and sends a powerful message as opposed to say, the Rolls: the Japanese Imperial family don't need to import luxury cars from foreign countries, Japan has its own.
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  #555  
Old 11-19-2018, 11:30 PM
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True. I wished for the carriage because Japan hasn't had a royal parade with horse-drawn carriages in a long time. At least the new vehicle will be utilized more than the Rolls.

Japan to simplify banquets to celebrate new emperor's ascension - The Mainichi
Quote:
[…]

The move is aimed at reducing the workload on Crown Prince Naruhito [...] as well as other members of the imperial family taking part in the celebrations.

The government committee on the ceremonies, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, agreed to invite 2,600 guests for a total of four banquets to be held in late October 2019 to celebrate the crown prince's ascension. Two of the four banquets will be buffet-style.

[…]

The panel also decided to limit the number of guests taking part in the main enthronement ceremony on Oct. 22, 2019 to around 2,500, the same as last time, while inviting about 900 foreign guests for a dinner to be hosted by the prime minister and his wife.
The banquets are scheduled for October 22, 25, 29, and 31st. [Asahi]

Emperor Akihito's 1990 enthronement had 7 banquets over 4 consecutive days (starting on November 12) with some 2900 of the 3400 invited guests attending. [Jiji]

ETA: Enthronement events for new emperor to be pared back: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:
[...] The government initially planned to reduce the number of invitations to both events, but later learned that guests are expected from 195 countries Japan has diplomatic relations, 30 more than the previous ceremony.

It also “could not ignore local government heads’ hoping to participate in the ceremony,” according to a senior official of the prime minister's office.

The government thus abandoned its plan to reduce the number of guests to the enthronement ceremony, but, in principle, will have guests not be joined by their spouses except in cases of diplomatic protocol. [...]
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  #556  
Old 11-21-2018, 03:24 AM
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The government will hold 77 events celebrating Emperor Akihito's 30 year reign. 16 ministries and agencies, including the Cabinet Office, will carry out the celebrations from next January to April. These include:
- a special exhibition for Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko's 60th wedding anniversary at the IHA's Museum of the Imperial Collections
- tea ceremony at the Imperial Palace in February
- Kyoto Imperial Palace will also host tea ceremonies
- books and a DVD are planned
- in cooperation with the IHA, the Tokyo National Museum will have a 30-year commemorative exhibition from March to April

Source: Jiji

Kyodo News reports tentative plans for the division of Crown Prince Naruhito's local public service after his ascension. Some will be shared between Prince Akishino and Princess Nobuko. The remaining duties, Crown Prince Naruhito will continue as emperor.

ETA: Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will visit Emperor Jimmu's tomb in Nara Prefecture in March; they will visit Ise Grand Shrine in Mie Prefecture and Emperor Showa's mausoleum in Tokyo in April before the abdication.

About 700 guests will attend the Daijōsai "Great Thanksgiving Festival" on November 14-15, reduced from 936 in 1990.

The banquets after Daijōsai will held on November 16 and 18.

Source: Jiji

ETA: Emperor, Empress to visit Ise in April - The Japan News
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  #557  
Old 11-22-2018, 12:33 PM
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The IHA changed their mind about hosting a garden party after enthronement. They've decided to cancel it because 1) to reduce the number of ceremonies 2) enthronement ceremony and banquet on October 22 and the Prime Minister's dinner are enough to welcome foreign guests.
Source: Jiji

Early reassignments of CP Naruhito's activities: Prince Akishino will likely take over the National High School (Inter-high) Sports Festival and Princess Nobuko will attend the National Farmers Summit.
Source: Sankei
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  #558  
Old 11-22-2018, 12:43 PM
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Perhaps not a bad idea, if the then ex-emperor is also expected to take part.
All these official "farewell-events" may end up killing him!
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  #559  
Old 11-22-2018, 12:52 PM
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Retired Emperor Akihito would not attend the garden party or any garden parties after abdication (at least that's the current plan).

I hope he and Empress Michiko do not have to attend ALL 77 government sponsored celebrations. Geez, that sounds exhausting.
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  #560  
Old 11-25-2018, 03:29 PM
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Gov't may unofficially announce new era name before Crown Prince accedes to throne - The Mainichi
Quote:
[...] The government intends to hold a meeting of an expert panel that April to decide a new era name before the government announces it. The Cabinet will approve an ordinance to change the era name on May 1. The new emperor will sign the ordinance as part of his official duties.

[...]

The government is considering announcing the new era name either after the second round of nationwide local elections on April 21, or around a week before the Crown Prince's enthronement. However, an individual linked to the Cabinet Secretariat was skeptical of the timing, saying, "One week or 10 days is too short to adjust computer systems."

On the other hand, conservatives are concerned that if there is a long gap between the unofficial decision on the new era name and its approval by the Cabinet, there could be opposition to the name. [...]

The government instructed ministries and agencies this past May to make preparations to adjust their computer systems on the assumption that the new era name will be announced a month before the new emperor's enthronement. At the time, the government explained that it would take about a month to adjust computer systems in both the public and private sectors.

[...]
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