The government decided Thursday that only male adults of the Imperial family will attend one of the key ceremonies to mark Crown Prince Naruhito's ascension to the throne on May 1, following the example set by Emperor Akihito's enthronement in 1989.

The government will allow only male adults from the Imperial family to attend the ceremony because the Imperial House Law stipulates that only males can ascend the throne and members who are minors customarily do not take part in succession rites.

But excluding female members could be viewed as being out of touch with the times.