Japanese Monarchy: FAQs
Q: What the dynastic name of the Japan?
A: The Imperial House of Yamato is the dynasty of the Imperial Family of Japan.
Q: When was the Emperor Crowned?
A: Japanese Emperors are not crowned, instead an enthronement ceremony is held, the last one of be held was for the current Emperor Akihito in November 1990.
Q: Who was the first Emperor?
A: According to legend, the first Emperor of Japan was Emperor Jimmu, in 660 BC.
Q: What are the powers of the Japanese Emperor?
A: The Japanese Emperor has no political power in Japan, unlike other Constitutional Monarchs, the Japanese Emperor has no reserve powers, and its not involved in the running of the country. The role is entirely ceremonial. There are indeed a few who argue the Emperor is not even officially accredited the role of Head of State in the Japanese constitution.
Q: Will Princess Toshi reign as Empress?
A: Current laws of succession in Japan dictates that the throne may only pass to male descendants of the Emperor, as such – as it stands right now, the Princess will not succeed to the throne.
There are several groups who actively work to have the law changed.
Q: What are some of the political duties of the Emperor and Empress?
A: The Emperor is responsible for acts such as: appointing the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, attesting the appointment of Ministers of State and some other high officials, announcing laws and treaties, awarding honors, attesting the credentials of ambassadors, as well as receiving foreign ambassadors. In these matters of state, he acts on the advice and approval of the Cabinet. Under the present Constitution of Japan, the Emperor is the symbol of the state and unity of the people. The other members of the imperial family perform ceremonial and social duties, but have no role in the affairs of government
Q: What is the Imperial Household Law?
A: Historically, the succession to Japan's Chrysanthemum Throne has generally passed to male descendants in the imperial lineage. There was a potential succession crisis since no male child has been born into the imperial family since Prince Akishino in 1965. Following the birth of Prince Aiko, there was some public debate about amending the Imperial Household Law to allow women to succeed to the throne. In February 2005, Japanese parliament hinted to an amendment to that law, which would allow Princess Aiko to take the throne.
Q: What are the official duties of the Imperial family?
A: New Year Greeting, His Majesty's Birthday Receptions, Imperial Investiture, Ceremony of Appointment of Official with Imperial Attestation, Ceremony of Imperial Conferment of Decoration, Ceremony of the Presentation of Credentials, Audiences, Teas and Other Meetings, Luncheons and Dinners, Their Majesties' Garden Parties, Official visits within Japan, Fostering friendly relations with foreign countries.
Q: Where does the Imperial Family reside?
A: The Imperial Palace contains the Imperial Residence where the Emperor and Empress live with Princess Sayako. The Crown Prince's Residence is located within the grounds of the Akasaka Estate. The Akasaka Estate is also where the Residences of Prince Akishino, Prince Mikasa, Prince Tomohito of Mikasa and Prince Takamado are located. There are three Imperial Villas. Imperial Villas are places where members of the Imperial family go to rest and recuperate.
Q: Can I visit the Imperial Palace?
A: Tours take place Monday through Friday, except on National Holidays, from 28 December to 4 January and in circumstances due to court functions and other occasions. Tours are conducted in Japanese, but brochures in English are provided.