Japan mulls amnesty in honor of Emperor Naruhito's enthronement
Kyodo -- May 04
The government is considering granting amnesty to criminals in honor of new Emperor Naruhito's enthronement ceremony in October, sources close to the matter said Friday.

If realized, it will be the country's first pardon since 1993, when then Crown Prince Naruhito married Crown Princess Masako. But only a certain number of petty offenders may be given the pardon, as the government is concerned that a large-scale amnesty can trigger criticism from the public, including crime victims.

Amnesty has usually been granted upon national events as well as celebrations and funerals regarding the imperial family. After Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa, died in 1989, more than 10 million people were given amnesty. The enthronement of former Emperor Akihito in 1990 led to pardons of some 2.5 million.

The government did not issue pardons in the wake of Emperor Akihito's abdication on Tuesday, the first by a Japanese monarch in 202 years.

News source: Kyodo
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