New Emperor And Empress To Greet Public

New Emperor and Empress to greet public

The new Emperor and Empress will greet the general public at the Imperial Palace on Saturday.

The Imperial Household Agency says they will make a total of six appearances on the palace verandah, every hour from around 10 am Japan time.

They will be accompanied by Crown Prince Akishino and other Imperial Family members. The Emperor Emeritus and the Empress Emerita will not be present.

Emperor Naruhito will address the general public for the first time since his accession.

Visits by the general public to the Imperial Palace take place every year on January 2nd and on the Emperor's birthday.

This is only the second time that the palace will be opened to the general public to mark an imperial succession. The first was for the Emperor Emeritus 29 years ago.

Last time, the visit took place nearly two years after the Emperor's accession, largely due to the yearlong mourning period for the late Emperor Showa.

The Imperial Household Agency initially scheduled the latest visit for October 26th, after Sokuirei-Seiden-no-Gi, the largest ceremony associated with the accession.

However, the agency brought it forward in response to widespread opinion that it should be held as soon as possible.

Members of the public will be required to enter from the palace's Main Gate between 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, crossing the Nijubashi Bridge to the plaza in front of the palace.

The Agency says the wait to enter could exceed two hours, depending on turnout.