Emperor Akihito's Last Garden Party Joined by Paralympian, Others
Tokyo, Nov. 9 (Jiji Press)--Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko hosted a seasonal garden party at the Akasaka Imperial Gardens in Tokyo for the last time on Friday, with the Emperor set to abdicate next spring.
The autumn party was attended by about 1,800 prominent people from various fields, including a gold medalist at the Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics in South Korea in March and an astronaut who returned from space in June after nearly half a year.
Crown Princess Masako, who has been receiving treatment for adjustment disorder for a long time, was present throughout the garden party for the first time in 15 years.
Imperial garden parties are held every spring and autumn. But next spring's party will be skipped due to scheduling difficulties related to the Emperor's abdication on April 30 and Crown Prince Naruhito's accession to the throne on May 1.
Friday's party was also the last during the Japanese era of Heisei, as a new era will start with the Imperial succession.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]