National

Costs for key Daijosai Imperial ceremony to total ¥2.7 billion

JIJI

The Imperial Household Agency said Friday expenses for Daijosai, a key ceremony that will be carried out by Crown Prince Naruhito next year after his accession to the throne, will total ¥2.72 billion, up a nominal ¥470 million from the previous rite held in 1990.

The agency plans to scale down the Daijokyu complex to be used for the ceremony in a bid to reduce spending, but steep growth in personnel and materials costs will push up the total outlays.

The government set aside ¥1.87 billion in spending for Daijosai in its draft budget for fiscal 2019, which starts April 1.

During Daijosai, regarded as the most important enthronement ceremony conducted by a new emperor, prayers are offered for the well-being of the people and a good harvest.

The coming ceremony, scheduled for Nov. 14 and 15 next year, will be held after the Crown Prince assumes the throne on May 1 that year following the abdication of his father, Emperor Akihito, the day before.

Expenses for the construction of the Daijokyu complex, including costs for dismantlement, will stand at ¥1.91 billion, up 31 percent from the 1990 ceremony.

The rise reflects the consumption tax hike from 3 percent to an expected 10 percent by next October, as well as a hefty increase of 30 to 80 percent in personnel costs.

The agency estimated that Daijokyu construction would cost some ¥2.5 billion if the complex is built to the same size and uses the same materials as in the previous ceremony.

It curtailed related expenses by about ¥600 million through a cut of more than 20 percent in the size of the complex and by using different materials for the roofs of the main three structures.

Costs for Daikyo no Gi (official banquets) to be held after Daijosai will total ¥258 million, down from ¥347 million in 1990. There will be two grand banquets, down from three, while the number of invited guests will be reduced from some 900 to 700.

Total outlays related to Imperial succession ceremonies will stand at ¥3.78 billion, up 42 percent from the ¥2.66 billion it cost in 1990.

The agency’s draft budget for fiscal 2019 increased 12.8 percent from the previous year to ¥24.06 billion.

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