Emperor’s birthday greeting to be held for 1st time since accession to throne

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Imperial Palace

The Imperial Household Agency has announced that the visit by the general public to the Imperial Palace to celebrate the Emperor’s birthday on Feb. 23 will be held next year.

This will be the first time for the event to go ahead since the Emperor’s accession to the throne in May 2019.

The number of visitors will be limited to 1,500 for each of the three greeting sessions to be held in the morning, meaning a total of 4,500 people can attend. The birthday greeting events were canceled for the last three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As with the New Year’s greeting scheduled for Jan. 2, those wishing to attend the Emperor’s birthday greeting are required to apply in advance and a drawing will be held if the number of applications surpasses the quota.

Applications can be made online or by reply-paid postcard. The deadline is Jan. 6, and details are posted on the Imperial Household Agency’s website.