• Kyodo

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Emperor Naruhito and his family began moving to their new residence on the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Monday, more than two years after ascending to the throne, the Imperial Household Agency said.

Since the emperor was enthroned on May 1, 2019 — the day after his father, Akihito, stepped down as emperor, the first abdication in about 200 years — renovations and other preparations have been underway to prepare for the move.

The sword and jewel inherited from the former emperor as proof of ascension to the throne were transferred from the nearby Akasaka Imperial Residence, where the emperor, 61, Empress Masako, 57, and their only child, Princess Aiko, 19, had resided.

“I am preparing myself as I move into the palace, which has served as a foundation for successive emperors to fulfill their duties. I will perform my daily duties with a fresh mind,” the emperor said in a statement.

The family will reside in another building on the palace grounds until around Sept. 15 while the moving work is completed, the agency said.

The emperor emeritus, 87, and Empress Emerita Michiko, 86, have been temporarily residing in the Takanawa Imperial Residence after moving out of the residence at the palace.

They will move to the Akasaka residence after its renovations are completed by around May or June next year, according to the agency.

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