As Japan prepares for the first Imperial succession in about 200 years involving a living monarch, it has yet to address concerns about the future of the Imperial line and the shortage of royals performing official duties.

Emperor Akihito, 85, is set to abdicate on April 30, 2019, to be succeeded by his eldest son Crown Prince Naruhito, 58, the following day. The rare abdication was decided after the Emperor hinted in a rare public broadcast at his desire to step down due to his age and weakening health.

A number of Imperial rituals are scheduled in the year, including a ceremony on May 1 in which the new Emperor will inherit the traditional regalia, the enthronement ceremony on Oct. 22 and the Daijosai, or Great Food Offering Ceremony, from Nov. 14 to 15.