Tokyo, April 10 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government is considering postponing this month’s “Rikkoshi-no-Rei” ceremonies to proclaim Crown Prince Akishino’s rise to first in line to the throne, due to the spread of the new coronavirus, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Friday.
The possible delay comes after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency over the virus on Tuesday. The ceremonies were scheduled to take place at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on April 19.
The government will decide a new date for the ceremonies, while closely monitoring the virus’ spread, sources familiar with the matter said.
Initially, the government planned to hold “Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-Gi,” the main proclamation event, “Choken-no-Gi,” in which the Crown Prince will meet with Emperor
Naruhito, his older brother, and “Kyuchu-Kyoen-no-Gi” banquets as Rikkoshi-no-Rei ceremonies.
The government has already canceled the banquets to prevent the spread of the virus. But Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-Gi and Choken-no-Gi were slated to be held as scheduled while reducing the number of people invited.
Rikkoshi-no-Rei is the last in a series of ceremonies and rituals related to Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement in May last year.
The government has said that it will start discussion on ways to ensure stable Imperial succession once Rikkoshi-no-Rei is finished.