Japan cancels emperor’s public birthday party amidst fear of angonavirus, because the government orders people to avoid “non-essential gatherings”
- Emperor Naruhito will no longer appear during his birthday in Tokyo
- The celebration is said to be the first of the emperor since he took the throne in 2019
- The last time the celebration was canceled was in 1996, when hostages were taken at the Japanese embassy in Peru at an event celebrating the birthday of the prince
Japan said on Monday that it would cancel a public meeting to celebrate the birthday of new Emperor Naruhito, as fears spread about the spread of the new corona virus in the country.
“In view of various situations, we have decided to cancel the visit of the general public to the palace for his Majesty ‘s birthday,” the imperial housekeeping office said in a statement the day after the government had warned people to avoid crowds and “non-essential” meetings.
“His appearance in the morning and the public signing of the wish book will be canceled.”
Emperor Naruhito is pictured at a ceremony in front of a rehabilitation center in Tokorozawa, Japan on January 22, 2020. The birthday party is said to be the emperor’s first since he came to the throne last year
At least 60 people in Japan have so far been diagnosed with the virus, with Health Minister Katsunobu Kato warning on Sunday that the nation was “entering a new phase” of the outbreak.
‘We want to ask the public to avoid non-urgent, non-essential meetings. We want the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions to avoid crowded places, “he said.
The birthday meeting on February 23 was canceled because local media reported that the amateur part of the Tokyo Marathon, scheduled for March 1, would be canceled.
Health Minister Katsunobu Kato is pictured with the announcement of Japan’s first death by the COVID-19 corona virus in Tokyo on February 13, 2020. Kato warned yesterday that the virus is entering “a new phase” of the outbreak
Two people wearing masks pose on February 11, 2020 in a street in Tokyo, Japan
“We don’t have a formal decision to announce yet. We are studying and as soon as a decision has been made, we will announce it today, “said a spokeswoman.
The birthday party for Emperor Naruhito would be the first since he came to the throne last year.
The last time the meeting was canceled was in 1996, after hostages were taken at the Japanese embassy in Peru during an event on the occasion of the birthday of the prince.