Details fixed for abdication, enthronement ceremonies in Japan

TOKYO (The Japan News/ANN) - The details of ceremonies related to the Emperor’s abdication and the crown prince’s accession to the throne have been decided at a meeting of the panel overseeing the ceremonies.

For the Oct. 23 banquet to be hosted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, the panel decided on Tuesday to appoint kyogen play actor Nomura Mansai as a general adviser for cultural events at the party.

At the Taiirei Seiden no Gi abdication ceremony on April 30, the Emperor will speak after Abe delivers the “address of the national representatives.”

After the abdication ceremony, the magatama comma-shaped jewel and a sword that validates the throne will be returned to the place where they are kept at the Imperial Palace. When the Kenji to Shokei no Gi ― a ceremony where a new emperor inherits the Imperial Regalia ― is held on May 1, the sacred objects are to be brought to the site of the ceremony again.

This is intended to avoid a situation in which the Emperor ― who does not have powers related to government ― could give the impression that he passed the throne to the crown prince through his own will by directly passing him the regalia.

“The decision is appropriate on the basis of the purport of the Constitution,” Cabinet Legislation Bureau Director-General Yusuke Yokobatake said during the panel meeting on Tuesday.

Leaders from foreign countries will be invited to the Sokuirei Seiden no Gi ceremony slated for Oct. 22, during which the new emperor will proclaim his enthronement at home and abroad.

To encourage foreign guests to deepen their understanding of Japanese culture, the government plans to hold kabuki and noh performances.