Japan Emperor, Empress Struggling with Roles amid Virus Crisis

Society

Tokyo, July 27 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako are struggling to establish ways to perform their activities under restrictions posed by the coronavirus epidemic.

The Imperial couple has appeared only at the Imperial Palace recently, with all of their key regular domestic trips, including the one to attend the annual National Sports Festival, canceled this year.

The Imperial Household Agency has uploaded on its webpage the couple's remarks made during briefings including by a noted coronavirus expert at the Akasaka Imperial Residence, where the couple lives.

With their public exposure limited so far since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, some pundits are calling for the agency to use social media more actively to disseminate information on the couple as some foreign royal families do.

Emperor Naruhito, who ascended the throne in May last year to mark the start of the Reiwa period, "has properly performed the Imperial rituals designated by Emperor Emeritus Akihito as duties of the Emperor, the symbol of Japan," said Takeshi Hara, professor at the Open University of Japan.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press