天皇在位20年 敬愛される皇室像が定着した

20 peaceful years with the Emperor
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 12, 2009)
天皇在位20年 敬愛される皇室像が定着した(11月12日付・読売社説)

The government will hold a ceremony to mark the 20th year of the enthronement of the Emperor at the National Theater of Japan in Tokyo on Thursday.

The Emperor assumed the throne on Jan. 7, 1989. However, since the enthronement ceremony was held as a national event on Nov. 12 the following year, the ceremony marking his 20th year on the throne is held on that date.

On the occasions of the 10th and 15th years of his enthronement, the Emperor said that in comparison with the 10th and 15th years marking his father Emperor Showa's enthronement, he was happy to see the Heisei years pass peacefully in spite of some difficulties and problems.

The global recession is affecting the lives of the Japanese people. We currently face many difficult issues. But, compared with the first 20 years of the Showa era, many people would agree with the sentiments of the Emperor that the Heisei years so far have passed "peacefully."


Serving the people

The Emperor ascended to the throne as the symbol of the state and the unity of the people under the current Constitution.

The Emperor has often said he thinks the best way to meet the expectations of the public is to serve the state and the people by bearing in mind the constitutional provision that the emperor is the symbol of the state.

The Emperor and the Empress have strived to share the feelings of the people. It is in the last 20 years that the image of the Imperial family as being approachable and respectable has prevailed among the public.

The Emperor is very busy every day with a variety of official duties.

He has many occasions to visit local areas to attend National Athletic Meets, tree-planting ceremonies and the other events. The Emperor has visited and talked to people at welfare facilities around the country. He also has ventured to areas hit by natural disasters and has encouraged disaster victims. The Emperor also has traveled to other countries to promote international friendship.

The Emperor also has many occasions to meet recipients of decorations and distinguished guests from abroad, and also has to perform Imperial rituals inherited from the emperors before him.

Though the Emperor wholeheartedly believes that such official duties and Imperial rituals are very important, he will turn 76 next month and is not free of health concerns.


Agreeable duties

At the beginning of this year, the Imperial Household Agency revealed measures to alleviate the burdens of the Emperor's official duties. We hope the agency will continue to take sufficient care with the Emperor's schedule so that not only he but also the Empress can stay in good health.

Since Prince Hisahito was born to Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko in 2006, discussions on Imperial succession have settled down. The new government under Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has not referred to the issue.

Last month, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada urged the Imperial Household Agency to arrange for the Emperor to deliver his own words to some degree at the opening ceremonies of the Diet. But Okada came under criticism from both ruling and opposition party members who said it was inappropriate to make political comments on what the Emperor says.

We think that such criticism is reasonable, as it is based on a point of view that Okada's remark might lead to the political exploitation of the Imperial family. We expect politicians, particularly Cabinet ministers, to be very careful in making remarks regarding the Imperial family.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 12, 2009)
(2009年11月12日05時06分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2009-11-12 07:59 | 英字新聞

<< 英国人女性殺害 容疑者を追い詰... アフガン支援策 「小切手外交」... >>