Emperor Akihito will attend six fewer official functions in which he and Empress Michiko grant an audience at the Imperial Palace to people who have served with distinction in various fields, the Imperial Household Agency said Monday.

The measure is the result of a review of the Emperor’s public duties that the agency has been conducting since December, when he turned 70, with a view to easing his workload.

The Imperial Couple attend more than 100 functions of this kind every year. Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife, Crown Princess Masako, and other Imperial family members will take over the duties on six of these occasions, the agency said.

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