Press Conference on the Occasion of His Majesty's Birthday (2018)
As I look back over the past year, I cannot forget the natural disasters that struck with even greater frequency than in previous years. Many people lost their lives, while many others lost the basis of their livelihoods due to disasters such as torrential rains, earthquakes, and typhoons. I learned about each disaster in the papers and on television and then saw the actual state of damage with my own eyes on my visits to some of the afflicted areas, and the catastrophic destruction caused by the force of nature was beyond my imagination. I would like to offer my sincere condolences to all those who lost their lives and hope that those affected by the disasters will be able to return to their former lives as soon as possible. I remember that the first time I travelled to a disaster-afflicted region was in 1959, when I visited, as a representative of Emperor Showa, the areas struck by the Ise Bay Typhoon.
We are now coming to the end of the year, and the day of my abdication in the spring of next year is approaching. Ever since ascending to the throne, I have spent my days searching for what should be the role of the Emperor who is designated to be the symbol of the State by the Constitution of Japan. I intend to carry out my duties in that capacity and shall continue to contemplate this question as I perform my day-to-day duties until the day of my abdication.
The international community after World War II was defined by an East-West Cold War structure, but when the Berlin Wall came down in the fall of the first year of Heisei (1989), marking the end of the Cold War, there were hopes that the world might now welcome a time of peace. However, subsequent global developments have not necessarily gone in the direction that we desired. It pains my heart that ethnic disputes and religious conflicts have occurred, numerous lives have been lost to acts of terrorism, and a large number of refugees are still enduring lives of hardship today throughout the world.
Those were the conditions that Japan faced as we walked the path in the post-war years. I was 11 years old when the war ended, and in 1952, at the age of 18, my Coming of Age Ceremony was carried out followed by the ceremony of Investiture as Crown Prince. That same year the San Francisco Peace Treaty was formally implemented, marking Japan’s return to the international community, and I remember welcoming the foreign ambassadors and ministers newly arriving in Japan one after another. The following year I attended the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, and I spent about six months before and after the Coronation visiting many countries. In the 65 years since then, thanks to the efforts made by the people of Japan, our country has taken steady steps forward in the world and has come to enjoy peace and prosperity. In 1953, the Amami Islands were returned to Japan, followed by the Ogasawara Islands in 1968, and Okinawa in 1972. Okinawa has experienced a long history of hardships, including what happened there during the war. I have visited the prefecture 11 times with the Empress, starting with the visits that I made in my days as Crown Prince, and have studied the history and culture of Okinawa. We are committed to continue to care for the sacrifices that the people of Okinawa have endured over the years, and that commitment will remain unchanged in the future.
Japan then entered the Heisei Era, during which we reached the milestone years of the 50th, 60th, and 70th anniversaries of the end of World War II. I have believed it is important not to forget that countless lives were lost in World War II and that the peace and prosperity of post-war Japan was built upon the numerous sacrifices and tireless efforts made by the Japanese people, and to pass on this history accurately to those born after the war. It gives me deep comfort that the Heisei Era is coming to an end, free of war in Japan.
I shall not forget the trips that the Empress and I made to Saipan for the 60th anniversary of the end of the war, to Peleliu Island in Palau for the 70th anniversary, and to Caliraya in the Philippines the following year, to pay our respects to those who lost their lives in the war. I am grateful to each of those countries for welcoming us with warm hospitality.
Natural disasters also left an indelible impression on my mind. Many disasters struck Japan in the Heisei Era, from the eruption of Mt. Unzen’s Fugen Peak in 1991, the Earthquake off Southwest Hokkaido and the ensuing tsunami that hit Okushiri Island in 1993, to the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995 and the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. These disasters have claimed numerous lives and affected countless people, and I have no words to describe the deep sadness I feel when I think of this. At the same time, I have been heartened to see that, in the face of such difficulties, the spirit of volunteering and other forms of cooperation is growing among the people and that the awareness of disaster preparedness and the capacity to respond to disasters are increasing. I am always touched by the sight of people coping in an orderly manner when disasters strike.
The Empress and I have also considered it an important duty of ours to care for those with disabilities and others faced with difficulties. Sports for the disabled began in Europe for the purpose of rehabilitation, but it has always been our hope that, extending beyond those origins, they will grow into something that disabled persons themselves enjoy doing and that people enjoy watching as well. It moves me deeply to see that people are now enjoying the Paralympics and also the National Sports Games for the Disabled, held annually in Japan.
This year marked 150 years since the beginning of Japanese emigration overseas. Over the years many Japanese people who emigrated have continued to work hard, with the help of the people in their newly settled countries, and they have come to play important roles in the societies there. Thinking of the efforts of those people of Japanese ancestry, we have made a point of meeting with them as much as possible when visiting those countries. Meanwhile, many foreign nationals have come to work in Japan in recent years. When the Empress and I visited the Philippines and Viet Nam, we met individuals who were making efforts towards their goals of working in Japan one day. Bearing in mind that the people of Japanese ancestry are living as active members of society with the help of the people in their respective countries, I hope that the Japanese people will be able to warmly welcome as members of our society those who come to Japan to work here. At the same time, the number of international visitors to Japan is increasing year by year. It is my hope that these visitors will see Japan with their own eyes and deepen their understanding of our country, and that goodwill and friendship will be promoted between Japan and other countries.
In April next year, the Empress and I will celebrate the 60th anniversary of our marriage. The Empress has always been at my side, understood my thoughts, and supported me in my position and official duties as I performed my duties as the Emperor. She also showed great devotion towards Emperor Showa and others related to me and raised our three children with deep affection. Looking back, it was soon after I embarked on my life’s journey as an adult member of the Imperial Family that I met the Empress. Feeling a bond of deep trust, I asked her to be my fellow traveller and have journeyed with her as my partner to this day. As I come to the end of my journey as Emperor, I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart the many people who accepted and continued to support me as the symbol of the State. I am also truly grateful to the Empress, who herself was once one of the people, but who chose to walk this path with me, and over sixty long years continued to serve with great devotion both the Imperial Family and the people of Japan.
Finally, I will abdicate next spring and a new era will begin. I am sincerely thankful to the many people who are engaged in the preparations. The Crown Prince, who will be the Emperor in the new era, and Prince Akishino, who will be supporting the new Emperor, have each accumulated various experiences, and I think that, while carrying on the traditions of the Imperial Family, they will continue to walk their paths, keeping pace with the ever-changing society.
As the year draws to a close, it is my hope that the coming year will be a good year for all the people.
Today His Majesty the Emperor celebrated His 85th birthday.
With regard to His official duties of state, this year His Majesty attended the Imperial Investiture of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the accreditation of 98 officials including 14 Ministers of State, 22 Vice Ministers, 40 Ambassadors, and other senior officials, the presentation of Letters of Credentials by 40 newly arrived foreign ambassadors, and the awards and decoration ceremonies for 36 recipients of the Order of the Grand Cordon and five recipients of the Order of Culture. He signed and affixed His official seal to a total of 940 documents submitted by the Cabinet. At the Imperial Palace and the Imperial Residence, His Majesty met with, congratulated and/or expressed appreciation for the services of a number of people including the recipients of the Order of Culture and Persons of Cultural Merit, recipients of various orders, medals of honour, and commendations, winners of the Emperor’s Prize at the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Festival, recipients of various ministers’ awards, recipients of the National Personnel Authority President Award, members of the Japan Art Academy, members of the Japan Academy, persons newly recognized for maintaining Japan’s intangible cultural properties and their spouses, Senior Overseas Volunteers, senior Volunteers for Nikkei Communities, representatives of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers returning from their overseas posts, representatives of the youth Volunteers for Nikkei Communities, and recipients of the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship, established by Americans of Japanese ancestry residing in Hawaii and others to commemorate Their Majesties’ wedding in 1959, on a total of 75 occasions.
His Majesty also heard 10 lectures from the Director-General of the Foreign Policy Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and others. He received explanatory briefings on 38 occasions regarding His official visits and attendances at various events. He also met with a total of 11,672 members of the Palace voluntary workforce on 67 occasions.
This year again, as Japan was struck by many natural disasters, from typhoons and torrential rains to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, His Majesty, together with Her Majesty the Empress, made a number of visits to the afflicted areas and comforted those affected by the disasters, praying for the victims as well as consoling the families of the deceased. In July, torrential rains that hit western Japan resulted in many casualties and forced numerous people to evacuate their homes in the prefectures of Hiroshima, Ehime, and Okayama. Through the Grand Chamberlain, Their Majesties conveyed messages of condolence for the victims of the disaster, sympathy for those affected, and appreciation for those engaged in disaster control to the governors of those prefectures. In September, They took two separate day trips to the affected areas in the three prefectures. Likewise, when the Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Earthquake struck in September, Their Majesties conveyed to the governor of Hokkaido through the Grand Chamberlain Their condolences and appreciation to those involved the day after the earthquake and made a day trip to the affected area in November.
With regard to other regional visits as well, His Majesty was accompanied by Her Majesty on each occasion. In March, ahead of His abdication next year, Their Majesties made Their 11th trip to Okinawa Prefecture. After paying Their respects at the Okinawa Peace Hall, They laid flowers and prayed at the National War Dead Peace Mausoleum. On the following day, They took a day trip from the main island of Okinawa to Yonaguni-jima island, where They saw the Yonaguni horse, an endangered Japanese breed of small horses native to the island, and the Yonaguni-san, one of the world’s largest moths, and observed bo odori (stick dance), a traditional dance. They also visited Japan’s westernmost monument at Irizaki and toured the Yonaguni-cho Fisheries Cooperative Association. On the final day, Their Majesties watched a karate demonstration at the Okinawa Karate Kaikan. On the occasion of the 69th National Arbor Day Festival held in June in Minami-soma, Fukushima Prefecture, Their Majesties visited the prefecture for three days, during which They met and conversed with residents of the Kita-yoshima apartment complex, a post-disaster public housing project built by the prefecture, and others and met with the mayors, the town assembly chairs, and the representatives of the residents of Hirono and Naraha towns, where evacuation orders were issued to all the residents in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake. At the Shidoke Village Centre, Their Majesties paid Their respects at the monument for the victims of the tsunami that followed the earthquake. On the third day, despite the poor weather, Their Majesties laid flowers at the cenotaph for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake in Soma city, visited the Soma City Haragama Region Fresh Produce Market and the Yuji Koseki Memorial Hall. The total distance covered by car over the three-day trip in the prefecture came to 280 kilometres. In August, Their Majesties visited Hokkaido, where They attended a ceremony celebrating the 150th anniversary of the naming of Hokkaido and visited a farm where mentally disabled persons work. On the second day, They made a day trip to visit the island of Rishiri-to, where They viewed a sea urchin seed production centre and Otatomari Swamp, and strolled along the island’s Futatsuishi Beach. In September, Their Majesties traveled to Fukui Prefecture for the 73rd National Sports Festival. After visiting the Museum of Education of Fukui Prefecture, They viewed the opening performances and attended the opening ceremony of the festival as scheduled. However, as a major Typhoon No. 24 (Typhoon Trami) was approaching, Their Majesties cancelled subsequent plans, including attending a meeting with festival officers and viewing the fencing event, to ensure that local governments and police are able to respond to the impending disaster, and returned to Tokyo one day earlier. In October, They visited Kochi Prefecture on the occasion of the 38th National Convention for the Development of an Abundantly Productive Sea and toured the Kochi Prefectural Forestry College and Kochi University’s Centre for Advanced Marine Core Research.
With regard to private trips, which They started taking five years ago, Their Majesties travelled to Shizuoka Prefecture in November. In Kakegawa city, They visited Nemunoki Gakuen, Japan’s first school and community for children and persons with severe physical disabilities, which celebrated its 50th anniversary, and saw paintings and dance performances by the children and residents. At the temple Jorin-ji in Fukuroi, Their Majesties viewed a monument dedicated to Dr. Sakitaro Asaba, which was erected by Phan Boi Chau, the pioneer of the Vietnamese independence movement (whose memorial house Their Majesties toured during Their trip to Viet Nam in March 2017), out of gratitude for the support that he had received during his stay in Japan. Also in Fukuroi, Their Majesties viewed a special exhibit commemorating the centennial of the monument’s completion at the Kondo Memorial Hall and the permanent exhibition at the adjoining Asaba Museum of History and Traditional Craft. At the Hamamatsu Foreign Resident Study Support Center, They observed a Japanese language class for foreign nationals and a training course for Japanese-language learning support volunteers, after which They visited the Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments. Initially scheduled for July, this trip had been postponed due to the torrential rains that hit western Japan shortly before the planned dates.
For rest and recuperation, Their Majesties briefly stayed at the Hayama Imperial Villa in February and June. They were scheduled to visit the Nasu Imperial Villa in July, but this was canceled due to the torrential rains in western Japan. As in other years, Their Majesties spent late August in the towns of Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture and Kusatsu in Gunma Prefecture.
During the past year, Their Majesties made official and private regional visits to twenty-five cities and five towns in nine prefectures, not including Their visits for rest and recuperation to the Imperial Villas and the towns of Karuizawa and Kusatsu.
In Tokyo, as part of Their official duties, Their Majesties attended the Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead, the presentation ceremony and banquet for the Japan Prize, the award ceremony and reception for the MIDORI Prize, and the award ceremonies for the Japan Art Academy Award, the Japan Academy Prize, and the International Prize for Biology, as They do every year. Their other visits included ceremonies to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Municipal Fire Services and the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Japan Coast Guard, as well as the opening ceremony and reception of the 68th general assembly of the International Academy for Production Engineering, which is an international conference, a gathering to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the University of Salamanca and the 20th anniversary of the Association of the University of Salamanca in Japan, a reception to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Praemium Imperiale global arts prize in honour of Prince Takamatsu, and a ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the labour and social security attorney system. With His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf and Her Majesty Queen Silvia of the Kingdom of Sweden, who were visiting Japan as official guests, Their Majesties viewed “The Art of Natural Science in Sweden—Treasures from Uppsala University,” a special exhibition commemorating the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Sweden. With the President and First Lady of Viet Nam, who were visiting Japan as state guests, They attended a reception commemorating the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Viet Nam.
Their Majesties also attended the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra’s New Year concert commemorating the 100th anniversary of the restoration of Polish independence; “Kotohogu Sandai Kabuki no Nigiwai,” part of a program of kabuki performances commemorating the 130th anniversary of the Kabukiza Theatre; Classic Aid, a charity concert to support the recovery efforts from the Great East Japan Earthquake; the 54th Suzuki Method Grand Concert commemorating the 120th anniversary of the birth of Shinichi Suzuki; a special preview of the film Hitsuji to Hagane no Mori; a concert by the Cleveland Orchestra commemorating its 100th anniversary; a charity concert for children with cancer; a concert by the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra commemorating the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Viet Nam; a “Gala Concert Commemorating the 120th Anniversary of the Classical Music Label Deutsche Grammophon” ; and “Ay Sonezaki Shinju,” a flamenco performance. Their Majesties viewed the rotating exhibition “90 Years of Kinderbook: The world of children traced through pictures and songs”; an exhibition of calligraphic works and paintings by the Aisin Gioro clan, held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of J. F. Oberlin University and Affiliated Schools and the 40th anniversary of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China; the exhibition “The 150th Anniversary of His Birth: Yokoyama Taikan”; the exhibition “Turner and the Poetics of Landscape”; the 70th Mainichi Shodo (calligraphy) Exhibition; “Japan in Architecture: Genealogies of Its Transformation,” an exhibition commemorating the 15th anniversary of Roppongi Hills and the Mori Art Museum; “The World According to Meiji Japan—The Opening of Japan: A History in Murals,” a special exhibition commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration; and “Japan through Diplomats’ Eyes,” a photography exhibition. During the Week of Disabled Persons in December, Their Majesties visited Japan’s first facility for children with intellectual disabilities, the Social Welfare Foundation Takinogawa Gakuen, with which They have had a long-standing relationship.
On His own, His Majesty attended the opening of the National Diet in January and October, and for His customary visit to companies, He visited Hamano Products Co., Ltd., in June. He also attended the 2018 annual meeting (50th anniversary meeting) and reception of the Ichthyological Society of Japan. Their Majesties were to attend the 20th Handicapped Persons Nippon Taiko Festival together, but as Her Majesty came down with symptoms of a cold accompanied by coughing, His Majesty attended the event on His own.
With regard to activities within the Imperial Palace grounds, His Majesty viewed the exhibit of “Kasuga Gongen Genki E (Legends of Kasuga Shrine”, the Restoration of Scroll Masterpiece of the Kamakura Period” to commemorate the completion of the restoration which were made possible with the use of cocoons of the koishimaru silkworm cultivated by Her Majesty, at the Sannomaru Shozokan (Museum of the Imperial Collections). He also attended the annual spring recital of gagaku music (Japanese imperial court music), picked the fruits of an ancient fruit tree called waringo, or Chinese pearleaf crabapple (Malus asiatica), viewed the traditional equestrian art of dakyu, or ancient Japanese polo, and released special carp called hirenaga nishikigoi into Ninomaru Pond in the East Gardens of the Palace. Hirenaga nishikigoi are the product of crossbreeding between a long-finned Indonesian carp and the Japanese nishikigoi, which was suggested by His Majesty, and have been released in the pond twice before, in 1991 and 2012. As He hopes to increase their population before his abdication next year so that visitors can enjoy them, His Majesty, together with Her Majesty, released more of the fish in November.
These official visits in Tokyo totaled 47 occasions.
With regard to Japan’s relations with other countries, Their Majesties welcomed as state guests to Japan His Excellency President Tran Dai Quang of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and Madam Nguyen Thi Hien in May. Their Majesties attended the welcoming ceremony, had a meeting, and hosted a banquet at the Palace for the guests and called on them at the Akasaka Detached Palace, the State Guest House where they were staying, to bid them farewell before their departure from Japan. As for guests other than state guests, as a rule, if the guests are accompanied by their spouses, Their Majesties meet them, and if they are unaccompanied, His Majesty meets the guest on His own. Their Majesties met with His Excellency President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the First Lady of Germany, Her Excellency President Michelle Bachelet Jeria of Chile, His Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena and the First Lady of Sri Lanka, His Excellency President Lenín Moreno Garcés and the First Lady of Ecuador, His Excellency President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan, His Excellency President Roch Marc Christian Kabore and the First Lady of Burkina Faso, His Excellency President Nana Aldo Danka Akufo-Addo of Ghana, and His Excellency President Edgar C. Lungu of Zambia.
They also received in audience the President of the Assembly of Mozambique Ms. Verónica Nataniel Macamo Dlhovo and her spouse, the Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka Mr. Karu Jayasuriya, the Speaker of the National Assembly of Kuwait Mr. Marzouq Ali Mohammad Thenayan Al-Ghanim, the President of the Senate of Brazil Mr. Eunício Lopes de Oliveira and his spouse, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Australia Mr. Tony Smith, the Premier of the State Council of China Mr. Li Keqiang, the Prime Minister of Samoa Mr. Tuilaepa Fatialofa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi and his spouse, the President of the National Assembly of France Mr. François de Rugy and his spouse, and the President of the National Assembly of Bulgaria Ms. Tsveta Karayancheva.
At the Imperial Residence, Their Majesties hosted luncheons for Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn Walailak of Thailand, for the Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad and his spouse, and for Their Majesties King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein and Queen Rania and His Royal Highness Prince Omar bin Faisal of Jordan, hosted a dinner for Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, and held teas for Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte of Denmark, for the Rector of the University of Salamanca Dr. Ricardo Rivero Ortega, and for the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Mr. Peter Maurer.
At the Imperial Palace, Their Majesties invited to tea the national leaders, their spouses, and others attending the 8th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting in May and the national leaders and others attending the 10th Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting in October.
With regard to the diplomatic corps serving in Tokyo, Their Majesties invited to tea the newly appointed ambassadors and their spouses, representing 38 countries and one organization, three at a time, and to luncheon the ambassadors and their spouses who have been in Japan for three years or longer, representing 12 countries, four at a time, as well as granting farewell audiences to each of the ambassadors and their spouses from 24 countries and one organization upon completion of their assignments. Their Majesties met Japanese ambassadors and their spouses departing for overseas posts in 36 countries and one organizations. They also invited to tea the ambassadors and their spouses returning to Japan from 30 countries and one organization and heard accounts of their experiences in those countries.
As for the ritual ceremonies at the Imperial Palace, His Majesty attended 23 annual ritual ceremonies, while two ceremonies, Tenchosai and Saitansai, were handled by court officials standing in His place. With regard to the Niinamesai Shinkaden-no-gi ceremony, in which His attendance is becoming a cause of concern because of His advancing age, His Majesty took part in the Evening Ritual for a shorter length of time, as He did last year. For the Morning Ritual, in consideration of His health, His Majesty remained in the Imperial Residence for the duration of the ceremony.
As He does every year, His Majesty himself hand-sowed seed rice, transplanted it, and hand-reaped the grain in the paddy field of the Biological Laboratory on the Imperial Palace grounds. Aside from this, together with His children and grandchildren, He also sowed upland rice and millet and later harvested the grain. Some of the millet was added to the hand-reaped crop of rice used as an offering in the Niinamesai ritual. His Majesty also made an offering of rice plants with roots still attached, which He had planted, to Ise Shrine on the occasion of the Kannamesai ritual there.
With regard to His health, His Majesty spent several days in July resting at the Imperial Residence due to symptoms of dizziness and nausea caused by cerebral anemia. During this time, Their Imperial Highnesses Princess Takamado and Princess Ayako were scheduled to call on Their Majesties regarding the informal engagement of Princess Ayako, but Her Majesty the Empress met them on Her own and conveyed His Majesty’s congratulations on His behalf. As for the scheduled luncheon with foreign ambassadors serving in Tokyo and their spouses, His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince hosted the event in His Majesty’s place.
|Time||Greetings received by||Birthday Celebrations||Attended by||Location|
|9:30 a.m.||Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress||Felicitations and Toast of Celebratory Sake||Grand Chamberlain and staff members of the Board of Chamberlains||Imperial Residence|
|10:00 a.m.||His Majesty The Emperor||Felicitations||Grand Steward, Senior Officials and Special Advisors of the Imperial Household Agency||Imperial Palace|
|10:05 a.m.||Her Majesty The Empress||Felicitations||Grand Steward, Vice-Grand Steward representing staff members, Special Advisors||Imperial Palace|
|10:20 a.m.||Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress and other members of the Imperial Family||Birthday felicitations from the public||Imperial Palace|
|10:30 a.m.||His Majesty The Emperor||Felicitations Ceremony||Their Imperial Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess and other members of the Imperial Family||Imperial Palace|
|10:30 a.m.||Her Majesty The Empress||Felicitations||The same as the above||Imperial Palace|
|10:40 a.m.||Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress||Toast of Celebratory Sake||Their Imperial Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess, other members of the Imperial Family, former members and relatives of the Imperial Family||Imperial Palace|
|11:00 a.m.||Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress and other members of the Imperial Family||Birthday felicitations from the public||Imperial Palace|
|11:05 a.m.||His Majesty The Emperor||Felicitations||Staff members of the Imperial Household Agency and the Imperial Guard Headquarters||Imperial Palace|
|11:30 a.m.||His Majesty The Emperor||Felicitations||Former staff members of the Imperial Household Agency and the Imperial Guard Headquarters||Imperial Palace|
|11:40 a.m.||Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress and other members of the Imperial Family||Birthday felicitations from the public||Imperial Palace|
|11:50 a.m.||His Majesty The Emperor||Felicitations||3 Representatives from the Toshokai||Imperial Palace|
|0:55 p.m.||His Majesty The Emperor||Felicitations Ceremony||Prime Minister, Speaker of the House of Representatives, President of the House of Councillors, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court||Imperial Palace|
|1:00 p.m.||Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress and other members of the Imperial Family||Celebratory Luncheon||Prime Minister and other senior officials||Imperial Palace|
|3:00 p.m.||Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress and other members of the Imperial Family||Celebratory Tea||Heads of diplomatic corps and their spouses||Imperial Palace|
|3:30 p.m.||Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress||Celebratory Tea||Former Special Advisors, senior officials of the Imperial Household Agency, etc.||Imperial Palace|
|4:40 p.m.||Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress||Celebratory Tea||Lecturers, friends and others||Imperial Residence|
|6:00 p.m.||Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress||Felicitations||Their Imperial Highnesses Princess Aiko and Prince Hisahito||Imperial Residence|
|6:30 p.m.||Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress||Celebratory Dinner||Their Imperial Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess, Prince and Princess Akishino, Mr. and Mrs. Kuroda||Imperial Residence|