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  #41  
Old 02-24-2020, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
Emperor Naruhito's 60th birthday press conference was held on February 21st.

Press conference and birthday schedule for February 23rd. (Google translation)

Emperor Emeritus Akihito is recovering from a cold. 4pm greetings at Fukiage Sento Imperial Palace was cancelled and the retired Imperial couple did not attend the 7pm family dinner at Akasaka Imperial Palace. [Jiji]

Japan's emperor thanks public for support, pledges to serve symbolic role - Kyodo News

Quote:
Emperor Naruhito, on the occasion of his 60th birthday on Sunday, thanked the people for supporting him since he ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne last year and reiterated his determination to fulfill his symbolic role, while expressing sympathy for those affected by the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

[...]

"One of the most memorable moments in the last 10 months was being given heartfelt congratulations by many people," he said in thanking them at a press conference held in Tokyo on Friday ahead of his birthday.

"My path as the symbol of the state and the unity of its people has just begun," he said, adding, "I want to work harder toward fulfilling my responsibility as the symbol by training, always thinking about the people and standing by them."

He also said he keeps in mind the path his parents have walked.

[...]

Regarding his family, the emperor said both he and Empress Masako, 56, were happy she was able to complete all the ceremonies and rituals accompanying his enthronement last year.

But he also said he hopes the empress, who is still recovering from a stress-induced illness, will not overwork herself, saying, "She tends to remain tired for a while after a large ceremony or successive duties."

He also talked about his daughter Princess Aiko graduating from Gakushuin Girls' Senior High School this spring to proceed to study at the Department of Japanese Language and Literature of Gakushuin University's Faculty of Letters.

"I hope she will find what she wants to do and find a balance between (her goals) and duties as an adult member of the imperial household," he said.

[...]

With the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games approaching, the emperor said he wishes they will serve as an occasion for "young people to deepen their understanding of people around the world and feel the preciousness of peace" and for people overseas to learn about Japan.

[...]
Japan Emperor Naruhito's 60th birthday overshadowed by virus fears - The Mainichi

Quote:
[...] "As we face concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, I offer my sympathy to the patients and their families," Naruhito told reporters at a new conference held ahead of his birthday. "I hope that the escalation of the infections will be contained as soon as possible." [...]
60th birthday video and photos were taken on February 12th. Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako are discussing a book about water issues.

Photos: Imperial Household Agency, Asahi, Asahi 2

https://www.sankei.com/images/news/2...2230008-p1.jpg
https://www.sankei.com/images/news/2...2230006-p1.jpg




Quote:
"My path as the symbol of the state and the unity of its people has just begun," he said, adding, "I want to work harder toward fulfilling my responsibility as the symbol by training, always thinking about the people and standing by them."

He also said he keeps in mind the path his parents have walked.
That gives the impression that he respects his father's performance as emperor but, as claimed by many, has his own plans as well.


Quote:
But he also said he hopes the empress, who is still recovering from a stress-induced illness, will not overwork herself, saying, "She tends to remain tired for a while after a large ceremony or successive duties."
It may be a difference in culture, but it feels to me that for many years Masako's husband and doctors have been stressing that expectations for her recovery should be moderated.


Quote:
He also talked about his daughter Princess Aiko graduating from Gakushuin Girls' Senior High School this spring to proceed to study at the Department of Japanese Language and Literature of Gakushuin University's Faculty of Letters.

"I hope she will find what she wants to do and find a balance between (her goals) and duties as an adult member of the imperial household," he said.
I think teaching his daughter to "find a balance" between her duties to her country and her personal goals is exactly the right guidance, both as an emperor and as a parent.
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  #42  
Old 03-14-2020, 02:59 AM
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On March 13th, Emperor Naruhito received the credentials of Ambassadors from Panama and Sudan at the Imperial Palace.

Video: news24.jp

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  #43  
Old 04-02-2020, 02:58 AM
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On April 1st, Emperor Naruhito visited the Imperial Palace to worship at the Three Palace Sanctuaries for the monthly festival.

Video: news24.jp

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news24.jp reports Emperor Naruhito will be briefed by a specialist on the new coronavirus on April 6.

National Tree-Planting Event to Be Put Off due to Virus Impact | Nippon.com
Quote:
[...] A spring decoration ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward, in which Emperor Naruhito confers medals to people with remarkable achievements in various fields, will be held as scheduled. But an event for honorees to meet the Emperor together as a group is likely to be canceled, the sources said.
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  #44  
Old 04-03-2020, 10:13 PM
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On April 3rd, Emperor Naruhito visited the Imperial Palace to worship at the Three Palace Sanctuaries on the anniversary of Emperor Jimmu's death. It's the first time he was seen wearing a face mask in public. Previously, only IHA staff wore masks while working with family members.

Emperor Naruhito will be briefed by Dr. Shigeru Omi, President of the Japan Community Health Care Organization and deputy of the government panel on coronavirus, on April 6. Empress Masako will attend depending on physical condition.

AP Images
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  #45  
Old 04-04-2020, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
On April 3rd, Emperor Naruhito visited the Imperial Palace to worship at the Three Palace Sanctuaries on the anniversary of Emperor Jimmu's death. It's the first time he was seen wearing a face mask in public. Previously, only IHA staff wore masks while working with family members.
Thank you for pointing out that interesting detail. I wonder if it is connected to the concept of imperial dignity or untouchability, much like the historical custom of disallowing even doctors from touching members of the imperial family when providing care. I hope the rumor that the rule is still followed today is false, especially with the many elderly and vulnerable members of the family.
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  #46  
Old 04-06-2020, 10:47 PM
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I also hope the rumor is false nowadays. Any doctor should insist on proper examination.

As for the current situation, an emperor wearing a face mask publicly is another indication of the escalating coronavirus infection in Japan.

Emperor Naruhito's April 6 briefing with Dr. Shigeru Omi, deputy on the government coronavirus panel, has been postponed. Prime Minister Abe is expected to declare a state of emergency for Tokyo and 6 prefectures on April 7. The IHA will arrange another meeting that does not conflict with Dr. Omi's work.
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  #47  
Old 04-08-2020, 12:16 AM
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On April 8th, the IHA announced ambassador credential ceremonies will be postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) state of emergency. Another reason is to deter crowds gathering to watch the carriage procession from Tokyo Station to the Imperial Palace. (Won't the state of emergency already deter non-essential outings anyway?)

New ambassadors to Japan from Rwanda and Tonga were scheduled to present their credentials to Emperor Naruhito on April 9. Upcoming ceremonies for ambassadors from East Timor, Mali and Tanzania will also be postponed.

Source: Sankei
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  #48  
Old 04-15-2020, 01:25 AM
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Spring honors will be postponed. The government usually announce recipients on April 29 with Emperor Naruhito presenting the medals and meeting the honorees in May.
Source: Asahi

On April 14th, Emperor Naruhito sowed rice at the Imperial Palace. He planted about 180 seeds of mangetsumochi (glutinous rice type) and nihomasari (non-glutinous type) in 30cm square sections.

Photos: Sankei, Asahi
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  #49  
Old 04-25-2020, 01:34 AM
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Emperor donates ¥100 million of his private spending money to charities - Japan Today
Quote:
[...] The Imperial Household Agency announced on April 6 that the emperor donated 50,000,000 yen each to two organizations that provide services to support society: the government-founded Foundation for the Support of the Children’s Future (Kodomo no Mirai Ouen Kiki), and the incorporated non-profit organization Japan Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (JVOAD). Emperor Emeritus Akihito also made a donation of the same amount to similar organizations when his son ascended the throne.

The Foundation for Support of the Children’s Future’s mission is to work towards eliminating child poverty, while the Japan Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster offer support and resources for those affected by disasters. According to a representative from the Imperial Household Agency, “Their Majesties (the Emperor and Empress) wish to deepen the people’s understanding of the problem of child poverty, and the need to support the increasing numbers of volunteers who help people who were affected by the many disasters that occurred during the Heisei period [1989-2019].” [...]
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  #50  
Old 05-01-2020, 04:20 AM
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On May 1st, Emperor Naruhito worshipped at the Three Palace Sanctuaries for the monthly festival. He entered the Imperial Palace via Hanzomon Gate around 8:30am.

Photos: Asahi, AP Images
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  #51  
Old 05-06-2020, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
Emperor donates ¥100 million of his private spending money to charities - Japan Today

[...] The Imperial Household Agency announced on April 6 that the emperor donated 50,000,000 yen each to two organizations that provide services to support society: the government-founded Foundation for the Support of the Children’s Future (Kodomo no Mirai Ouen Kiki), and the incorporated non-profit organization Japan Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (JVOAD). Emperor Emeritus Akihito also made a donation of the same amount to similar organizations when his son ascended the throne.

The Foundation for Support of the Children’s Future’s mission is to work towards eliminating child poverty, while the Japan Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster offer support and resources for those affected by disasters. According to a representative from the Imperial Household Agency, “Their Majesties (the Emperor and Empress) wish to deepen the people’s understanding of the problem of child poverty, and the need to support the increasing numbers of volunteers who help people who were affected by the many disasters that occurred during the Heisei period [1989-2019].” [...]
That is a nice (new?) father-son tradition to have. Did the donation attract any publicity on social media?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
On April 8th, the IHA announced ambassador credential ceremonies will be postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) state of emergency. Another reason is to deter crowds gathering to watch the carriage procession from Tokyo Station to the Imperial Palace. (Won't the state of emergency already deter non-essential outings anyway?)
Perhaps to signal that the IHA is "doing its part", or just to provide another layer of discouragement?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
As for the current situation, an emperor wearing a face mask publicly is another indication of the escalating coronavirus infection in Japan.
I meant I wondered why the IHA staff would begin to wear face masks at an earlier stage than the emperor, though it could be as simple as there being more worry about staff coughing on the the 60-year-old emperor than the other way around.
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  #52  
Old 05-25-2020, 03:19 AM
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On May 25th, Emperor Naruhito planted 20 rice seedlings in the paddy field next to the Imperial Palace's Institute of Biology. The harvested rice will be used for rituals including the Niiname-sai in November. The planting was scheduled for May 19 and delayed due to poor weather.

This is Naruhito's first time planting rice he sowed in April. Last year, he planted seedlings his father sowed before the abdication.

Photos: Sankei, Mainichi, Asahi
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  #53  
Old 06-24-2020, 04:19 AM
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After a 3-month hiatus, Emperor Naruhito received the credentials of new ambassadors from Tonga and Rwanda at the Imperial Palace on June 24. Both ambassadors opted for a car instead of horse-drawn carriage.

Getty Images

https://twitter.com/nhk_news/status/1275664055311773697

Japan emperor resumes foreign envoy credential ceremonies - Kyodo News
Quote:
... Including the two, six newly appointed ambassadors to Japan had been left as ambassadors-in-waiting as of Friday because they needed to hand credentials from the head of their countries to the emperor. The remaining four are from Azerbaijan, East Timor, Mali and Tanzania...
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  #54  
Old 07-18-2020, 03:27 AM
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After a hiatus of 3.5 months, Emperor Naruhito attended the attestation ceremonies of Attorney General Makoto Hayashi and 3 new prosecutors at the Imperial Palace's Matsu no Ma (state room) with Minister of Justice Masako Mori on July 17.

AP Images
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  #55  
Old 07-29-2020, 02:31 AM
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On July 28th, Emperor Naruhito attended the attestation ceremonies of new Japanese diplomats at the Imperial Palace's Matsu no Ma (state room) with Minister of Justice Masako Mori.

Kazuyuki Katayama, Ambassador to Peru
Yasushi Masaki, Ambassador to EU
Tamaki Tsukada, envoy extraordinary to USA

AP Images
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  #56  
Old 07-31-2020, 11:31 PM
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On July 31st, Emperor Naruhito presented decorations to 7 people at the Imperial Palace's Matsu-no-Ma state room. Everyone wore masks and spouses did not attend. Spring honors was delayed for 2 months due to COVID-19.

6 Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun
1 Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure

Getty Images, AP Images

Japan Govt to Recognize 4,181 People in Spring Honors | Nippon.com
Quote:
... The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun will be given to six Japanese--Sakakibara, 77, former Supreme Court Justices Kiyoko Okabe, 71, and Kaoru Onimaru, 71, Hitoshi Ogita, 78, consultant at major beverage maker Asahi Group Holdings Ltd., former Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Makoto Taketoshi, 70, and former Shikoku Electric Power Co. President Momoki Tokiwa, 78.

Two foreigners will also receive the same honor. They are Bill Gates, 64, co-founder and former chief executive officer of U.S. technology giant Microsoft Corp. and Ram Chandra Paudel, 76, former speaker of Nepal's House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Himalayan country's parliament.

Ryoichi Oriki, 70, former chief of staff of the Joint Office at Japan's Defense Ministry, will receive the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure...
Full list of 2020 spring honors for Foreign Nationals : https://www.mofa.go.jp/files/100049370.pdf

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