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Emperor to attend Olympic opening ceremony 

  • July 21, 2021
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All national dailies took up the official announcement made by the Imperial Household Agency on Tuesday that Emperor Naruhito will take part in the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics unaccompanied by Empress Masako. He is expected to greet foreign dignitaries, including IOC President Bach, at the Imperial Palace on Thursday and Friday. Neither the emperor and empress nor other members of the Imperial Family will watch the Games at event venues on account of the ban on spectators. Asahi added that while the emperor was at one point considering not attending the opening ceremony out of fear that his participation could contribute to spreading the coronavirus, the agency decided on his participation in the end in view of the attendance of foreign dignitaries and out of concern that his absence would be misinterpreted.    


In a related story, Nikkei asserted that Emperor Naruhito may avoid using the word “celebrating” or similar terms when he declares the opening of the Tokyo Games on account of strong opposition to the event among some Japanese people. Although the Olympic Charter stipulates that the host country’s head of state proclaims the Games open by using such words as “celebrating the Olympiad of the modern era,” the emperor will reportedly avoid using such a jubilant expression. 

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