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Japan to bar female imperial family members from succession ceremony


The Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan
Japan plans to bar female imperial family members from succession ceremony to commemorate the enthronement of Crown Prince Naruhito in May, according to a local media in Japan on Thursday.
Only male adult imperial family members will be allowed to participate in one of the main ceremonies.
The government decided to follow the example set by Emperor Akihito’s ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne in 1989 as the Imperial Household Law stipulates that only males can succeed the throne, Kyodo News agency reported.
Naruhito, 53, will become the 126th emperor on May 1, a day after Akihito, 85, relinquishes the throne in the first such abdication in about 200 years.
The “Kenji tou Shokei no Gi’’ceremony, where the new emperor inherits traditional regalia such as the sacred sword and jewels, will be held on May 1, at the Imperial Palace.
Today, the primary imperial properties include the two Imperial Palaces at Tokyo and Kyoto, imperial villas at Hayama and at Nasu and a number of imperial farms and game preserves.
As of 2017, Akihito, the present Emperor, has an estimated net worth of US$40 million.
Prince Fumihito, the younger son of Akihito, and Prince Hitachi, the 83-year-old younger brother of the emperor, will be the only participants from the imperial family, Kyodo said.
Meanwhile, female imperial family members will be allowed to attend the “Sokui go Choken no Gi’’ ceremony, or the new emperor’s first audience ceremony after the accession to be held later on the day, the report said.
The succession comes after the emperor indicated in 2016 his wish to step down, citing his growing concerns that he might not be able to fulfill his official duties due to his advancing age. (dpa/NAN)


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