Tokyo, Oct. 8 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government said Thursday that the “Rikkoshi-no-Rei” ceremonies to proclaim the rise to first in line to the throne of Crown Prince Akishino will take place at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Nov. 8.
The decision was made at a meeting of the government’s committee on Imperial succession ceremonies, chaired by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
The ceremonies, initially scheduled for April 19, had been postponed due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The government made the decision as one and a half years are about to pass since Emperor Naruhito’s ascension to the throne in May last year and one year since a series of rites related to the enthronement, Suga said at the meeting.
“We’ll make thorough preparations while taking steps to prevent infections” so the Rikkoshi-no-Rei ceremonies, the last part of a series of rites linked to the Emperor’s enthronement, will take place amid a celebratory mood, Suga said.
The Rikkoshi-no-Rei ceremonies consist of the core proclamation ritual, “Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-Gi,” and the “Choken-no-Gi” rite, in which the Crown Prince meets with Emperor Naruhito, his older brother.
To prevent coronavirus infections, the number of invitees for the Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-Gi ritual will be reduced to some 50 from the initially planned some 350.
The “Kyuchu-Kyoen-no-Gi” banquets will be canceled.
Participants will be asked to wear face masks and disinfect themselves thoroughly. To avoid creating closed spaces, glass doors of the “Matsu-no-Ma” state room at the Imperial Palace will be open while the Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-Gi rite takes place there.
Government agencies will raise the national flag for celebrations on Nov. 8.