Outgoing Emperor, Empress Conduct Last Duty outside Palace
Tokyo, April 26 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko conducted their last official duty away from the Imperial Palace on Friday, attending an award ceremony hosted by the Cabinet Office.
The Emperor, due to abdicate on Tuesday, and the Empress attended the Ceremony of Awarding the Midori Prize, held at the Parliamentary Museum in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.
The Imperial couple clapped the awardees from the podium during the ceremony and later attended a reception where they chatted with prize winners.
The Midori Prize is an academic award to raise citizens' awareness of Greenery Day, a Japanese national holiday. This year's prize was awarded to Hajime Koshimizu, 74, and Masahiro Yano, 62, for contributions to research on urban greenery and rice cultivation, respectively.
The ceremony was first held in 2007, when the date of Greenery Day was changed to May 4 from April 29, the birthday of Emperor Hirohito, known posthumously as Emperor Showa.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]