Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako will invite royals from overseas who are attending the emperor’s Oct. 22 enthronement proclamation ceremony to their residence for a tea party the following day, Imperial Household Agency vice head Yasuhiko Nishimura said Monday.

“We planned the tea party to create an opportunity for the emperor and the empress to directly express their gratitude” for the congratulations offered by overseas royals, Nishimura said.

The tea party, which will also be attended by other members of the imperial family, will be held at the imperial couple’s residence at the Akasaka Estate in Minato Ward, Tokyo, on the afternoon of Oct. 23, the day after the Sokuirei Seiden no Gi enthronement proclamation ceremony. Emperor Naruhito ascended to the throne on May 1 this year.

When the Sokuirei Seiden no Gi ceremony for Emperor Emeritus Akihito was held in 1990, he and Empress Emerita Michiko invited overseas royal family members equivalent to the head of state to the Akasaka Estate for a tea party. At the time, Naruhito, then Crown Prince, held a separate tea party for other foreign royals, including crown princes, at his own residence.

This time, only one such tea party will be held, at one location, as there are now fewer imperial family members.

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