Imperial Succession on New Year's Day "Difficult" (News)


Tokyo, Jan. 17 (Jiji Press)—The succession of the Imperial Throne and a corresponding change of the traditional Japanese era would be difficult to take place on the first day of a year because New Year's Day is crammed with rituals and other events that are performed by the Imperial Family, a senior official of Japan's Imperial Household Agency said Tuesday.

There have been a flurry of media reports since earlier this month that the government has started considering setting Crown Prince Naruhito's accession to the Chrysanthemum Throne to succeed his father, Emperor Akihito, and changing the era name from the current Heisei for January 1, 2019.

Asked for comment on the view that setting Imperial succession for New Year's Day would not be convenient for the Imperial Household Agency, Nishimura Yasuhiko, deputy head of the agency, told a regular press conference, "As a generalization, January 1 is an extremely important day for the Imperial Family."

Noting that Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko perform a series of rituals and events all day on January 1, Nishimura said, "We think it is quite difficult in practical terms to set rituals related to abdication and ascendance for New Year's Day."

This is the agency's view based on the Imperial couple's stance of attaching importance to each and every ritual, he said, while denying that Emperor Akihito has sounded negative on Imperial succession on New Year's Day.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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