The Japanese government plans to postpone ceremonies to celebrate Crown Prince Fumihito's ascent to first in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne later this month, due to the spread of the new coronavirus, the top spokesman said Friday, APA reports citing Kyodo.
The "Rikkoshi no rei" ceremonies, scheduled for April 19, are intended to proclaim the 54-year-old crown prince's new status, which he acquired following his elder brother Emperor Naruhito's ascension to the throne in May last year.
"Following the prime minister's instructions, we will start making arrangements to postpone the ceremonies as a state of emergency has been issued," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference.
The government will set a new date after taking into account developments in the viral outbreak, Suga said. Alarmed by sharp rises in infections in urban areas, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency on Tuesday for Tokyo, Osaka and five other prefectures.
The Abe Cabinet is expected to officially endorse the postponement next week.