Japan Likely to Cancel New Year Visits to Imperial Palace

Society

Tokyo, Nov. 16 (Jiji Press)--Japan’s Imperial Household Agency is considering canceling visits by the general public to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Jan. 2 to receive New Year greetings from the Imperial Family, due to the spread of the new coronavirus, sources at the agency said Monday.

It would be the first time for such visits to be canceled since 1990 following the death of Emperor Hirohito, posthumously called Emperor Showa, in 1989.

Usually, the agency allows people to visit the palace on Jan. 2 and on the Emperor’s birthday.

On Jan. 2 this year, Emperor Naruhito and other members of the Imperial Family appeared on the balcony of the palace’s Chowaden reception hall to greet about 68,000 people.

Subsequently, visits to the palace to celebrate Emperor Naruhito’s birthday in February were canceled at the last minute due to concerns over crowding amid the virus outbreak.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press