Emperor, Empress Attend Their Last Annual Marine Festival

Society

Kochi, Oct. 28 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended events related to an annual national marine festival, held in two cities in Kochi Prefecture, part of the Shikoku western Japan region, on Sunday.

The Emperor and the Empress have participated in the annual festival, aimed at promoting the protection of fishery resources and the conservation of the ocean, river and lake environments, almost every year since the first festival was held in 1981, when they were Crown Prince and Crown Princess.

Their participation in the national festival will be the last, ahead of the Emperor's abdication, scheduled for April 30 next year.

From next time, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako will attend the marine festival, as well as two other major annual national events held in turns in the country's 47 prefectures--the autumn "Kokutai" sports festival and a tree-planting festival in spring--after they become Emperor and Empress. The Crown Prince's enthronement is set for May 1, 2019.

In a speech at a ceremony for this year's marine festival, held in the city of Kochi, on Sunday morning, Tadamori Oshima, speaker of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, the country's parliament, who served as head of the festival, expressed his gratitude for Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko for having continued to take part in the annual event.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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