Japan Emperor, Empress Restarting Regional Visits

Society Imperial Family

Tokyo, Oct. 4 (Jiji Press)--Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako are restarting regional visits after holding back from trips outside Tokyo in recent years amid the COVID-19 crisis.

On Saturday, the Imperial couple made a one-day trip to Tochigi Prefecture, eastern Japan, and attended the general opening ceremony of the National Sports Festival in the prefectural capital of Utsunomiya.

It was the couple’s first domestic trip outside Tokyo since the start of the pandemic.

Over Oct. 22-23, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako are slated to visit the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa for the first time since the Emperor’s ascent to the throne in May 2019.

While having attended regional events online amid the coronavirus crisis, the Emperor and the Empress attach importance to promoting in-person interactions with the public. They have considered such face-to-face exchanges cautiously, however, due to concerns over a spread of novel coronavirus infections.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press