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Upper House lawmaker Taro Yamamoto, an anti-nuclear activist who was formerly an actor, created a public stir Thursday when he apparently approached Emperor Akihito for political purposes at a garden party hosted by the Imperial Couple in Tokyo.

During the biannual event, where 2,140 celebrities from various fields and policymakers were invited to the Akasaka Imperial Garden, Yamamoto handed a letter to the Emperor, an act that immediately prompted criticism that he might be trying to use the monarch for political purposes, which the Constitution is interpreted to strictly forbid.

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