Women excluded from Naruhito’s enthronement

The Crown Prince will ascend to the Chrysanthemum Throne on 1st May. Only the men from the Imperial family and government representatives, including a woman, will be present at the ceremony, the Japanese government announced. The decision respects history but proves controversial in the country.

Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Japanese government announced today that no women from the Imperial family will attend the enthronement of Crown Prince Naruhito on 1st May out of respect for tradition, sparking controversy in the country.

The Kenji to Shokei no Gi ceremony begins at 10:30 am when the new Emperor inherits traditional regalia such as the sacred sword and jewels as proof of his accession to the throne.

Prince Akishino, 53, and Prince Hitachi, 83, respectively the younger son and younger brother of the current Emperor, will be the only participants from the Imperial family.

For the government, women of the Imperial family are excluded because under the law they are not part of the imperial succession. However, Satsuki Katayama, a minister in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet, will be present as one of the observers.

Several Japanese newspapers that reported the government’s decision carried negative comments by women for whom the decision is out of touch with the times.

On social media, a petition was launched calling for women to be included in the line of succession to the Chrysanthemum Throne.