1st of Abdication-Related Ceremonies Held at Imperial Palace

Society

Tokyo, March 12 (Jiji Press)--The first of a series of ceremonies related to Japanese Emperor Akihito's abdication was held at the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo on Tuesday morning.

The day's ceremony was designed for the Emperor to report his plan to abdicate and the date of his abdication to the Imperial Family's ancestors and deities.

It was attended by some 40 people, including Crown Prince Naruhito, Prince Akishino and his wife, Princess Kiko, as well as officials of the Imperial Household Agency and the Imperial Guard Headquarters.

At 10 a.m. (1 a.m. GMT), Emperor Akihito, dressed in "korozen-no-goho," a traditional costume made for exclusive use by the Emperor, entered Kashikodokoro, one of the three Imperial Palace Sanctuaries, where the Imperial ancestor Amaterasu-Omikami is enshrined.

The Emperor made a deep bow when entering the sanctuary.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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