Imperial Family’s Public New Year Greetings to Be Canceled Due to Noto Peninsula Earthquake (UPDATE 1)

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Imperial Palace

The Imperial family’s New Year public greetings scheduled for Tuesday at the Imperial Palace were canceled in light of the massive earthquake that struck the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture on Monday afternoon.

The Imperial Household Agency made the cancellation announcement on Monday night.

The agency said that the Emperor and Empress are incredibly worried about the situation in the affected areas and hope rescue efforts in the cold weather will be conducted as quickly as possible.

Considering the Emperor and Empress’ sentiments, the agency canceled the event.

The Imperial family’s New Year public greetings were canceled in 2021 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year is the first time the event has been canceled due to a natural disaster.

This year would have been the first time since the pandemic that the greetings would have returned to almost full form.