Emperor eyes simple abdication ceremony with no foreign guests
Japan Today -- Dec 15
Emperor Akihito wishes to step down in an abdication ceremony that is "as simple as possible," without inviting foreign guests and holding a parade, the head of the Imperial Household Agency said Thursday.

The emperor, who is scheduled to retire on April 30, 2019, at the age of 85, will be the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in more than 200 years. He also does not plan to receive visits from the general public, the agency's Grand Steward Shinichiro Yamamoto told a press conference.

The government is considering how to stage an abdication ceremony for the first time since 1817 and will establish in January an organization to prepare for the imperial succession.

"We have conveyed to the Cabinet secretariat the emperor's wish to conduct (the abdication ceremony) in a quiet and solemn manner at the Imperial Palace," Yamamoto said.

The agency chief said the emperor has harbored such an idea since around June, when a law to allow him to pass the throne to his elder son, Crown Prince Naruhito, was enacted.

Yamamoto said the emperor does not want a grand occasion because an enthronement ceremony for his son, who will ascend the throne on May 1, 2019, will be held a few months later.

News source: Japan Today
Jan 19
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Australian counterpart, Malcolm Turnbull, have agreed that denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is indispensable for safety in Asia. (NHK)
Jan 17
The government announced Tuesday an action plan focused on streamlining the process for residents to change their addresses with one-stop online access. (Japan Times)
Jan 16
A branch of Yokohama District Court on Monday ordered the city of Zushi, Kanagawa Prefecture, eastern Japan, to pay 1.1 million yen in damages for leaking information that led to the murder of a 33-year-old woman by a stalker. (Jiji)
Jan 15
The US Navy has deployed to southwestern Japan a new amphibious assault ship that can carry advanced F-35B stealth fighter jets. (NHK)
Jan 15
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday visited a museum commemorating Chiune Sugihara, who saved thousands of Jewish people from Nazi persecution during World War II. (Jiji)
Jan 14
Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono visited Myanmar's Rakhine state on Saturday after meeting with the country's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, in the capital of Naypyitaw a day earlier. (Nikkei)
Jan 13
A newly appointed female judge on Japan's Supreme Court has said she will use her maiden name when handing down rulings, a legal first in a country criticised for its attitudes to gender equality. (Japan Today)
Jan 13
Japanese's foreign minister on Friday urged Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi to guarantee the safe and voluntary return of Rohingya Muslims who have fled violence in troubled Rakhine state. (Japan Today)
Jan 12
A submarine and a Chinese Navy warship have entered the contiguous zone surrounding Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, the Japanese Defense Ministry said Thursday. (Jiji)
Jan 11
Kanagawa Prefectural Police used posts made by a city councilor in Shizuoka Prefecture to arrest him for allegedly engaging in illicit acts with an underage boy and soliciting obscene photographs from another youth last year, reports TBS News (tokyoreporter.com)