The fear of deadly coronavirus prompted Japanese imperial house to cancel event to celebrate monarch’s birthday, local media reported on Monday.
“We made the decision to cancel the public event at the palace, which is attended every year by many people in close proximity, after considering the risk of the virus spreading,” Kenji Ikeda, spokesman for Japan’s imperial house, told a news conference.
He acceded to throne on May 1 after his father Akihito stepped down.
Naruhito’s father and predecessor, Emperor Akihito, 85, officially announced his abdication in April to end his 30-year reign. Akihito is the first monarch to abdicate in 202 years in Japan’s imperial history.
In December 2018, nearly 82,000 people visited the palace for Emperor Akihito’s final birthday address.