New Year's Greetings

Their Majesties' New Year Reception

Photo Description
Their Majesties' New Year Reception
(Matsu-no-Ma (State Room),
Imperial Palace)
(Photo: Imperial Household Agency)
Their Majesties' New Year Reception
(Matsu-no-Ma (State Room),
Imperial Palace)
(Photo: Imperial Household Agency)

At the Imperial Palace each year on 1 January, Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress receive New Year greetings from His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince and the rest of the Imperial Family; the Speaker and Vice-Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President and Vice-President of the House of Councillors; Diet members; the Prime Minister; Ministers of State; the Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court; other government officials with Imperial attestation (Ninshokan); Administrative Vice-Ministers of Ministries and Agencies and other leading figures of legislative, executive and judicial organs; prefectural governors and chairpersons of prefectural assemblies; and heads of diplomatic missions to Japan and their spouses. This ceremony is considered a state event.

Visit of the General Public to the Palace for the New Year Greeting

Photo Description
Visit of the General Public to the Palace for the New Year Greeting
(East Plaza, Imperial Palace)
(Photo: Imperial Household Agency)

At the Imperial Palace each year on 2 January, Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress receive New Year Greetings from the people.
Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress appear with the rest of the Imperial Family on the Imperial Palace veranda several times. On this occasion, His Majesty the Emperor addresses the people. The people enter from the main gate of the Palace and offer their good wishes in the East Plaza of the Imperial Palace.

- History -

Visits by the general public to offer congratulations in the New Year Celebration at the Imperial Palace began on 1 January 1948. At the time, the celebration lasted from noon until 4:00 p.m. Visitors entered from the Main Gate and left from the Sakashita-mon Gate after signing the visitors' books installed near the iron bridge inside the Main Gate. Although none of the members of the Imperial Family appeared before the visitors, Emperor Showa did observe the scene of the visits from the roof of the Imperial Household Agency building.

On 1 January 1951, Emperor Showa and Empress Kojun appeared before visitors for the first time, on the balcony above the central entrance to the Imperial Household Agency. From 1953, the day of the greeting was moved to 2 January due to event schedule.

Later, these visits by the general public were temporarily suspended due to construction of the Imperial Palace. Since 1969, this ceremony has been held at the present Imperial Palace.

Number of the General Public Visitors to the Imperial Palace for the New Year Greeting