Emperor's first New Year address to be by video due to pandemic

Japan Times -- Dec 11
Emperor Naruhito will make his New Year address by video message after a decision last month to cancel his annual greeting event due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Imperial Household Agency said Thursday.

It will be the first video message released by the emperor since he ascended the throne in May last year following the abdication of his father, former Emperor Akihito.

In November, the agency said it had decided to call off the emperor’s New Year event in January since it would draw into confined spaces huge crowds of people, many of them expected to be older and who would face a higher risk of contracting a severe form of the COVID-19 illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

- Japan Times