The government led by the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan unofficially proposed that then-Emperor Akihito evacuate to Kyoto or somewhere further west immediately after the eruption of the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, a former administration official has said.

However, the Imperial Household Agency flatly dismissed the idea, saying there was "no way" the emperor would do so at a time when people were not evacuating Tokyo, leading to the government of Prime Minister Naoto Kan to give up the proposal.

Several former senior officials at the Prime Minister's Office separately said the administration at the time also briefly considered evacuating Prince Hisahito, the son of Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko, from Tokyo to Kyoto.