• Kyodo


The Imperial Household Agency said Monday it will reduce the official duties of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, both in their 80s, to ease the burden on them by cutting the number of their meetings with guests at the Imperial Palace.

By next March, it will begin to reduce the number by about 10 per year. It will be the first major review of guidelines on their duties since 2009, when the agency decided that the Emperor and Empress basically will not give speeches during their visits to cities.

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