Japan plans to postpone a major imperial parade celebrating the new emperor’s ascension to the throne because of a devastating typhoon, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday.
The parade was scheduled for October 22 as part of a series of events marking the official proclamation of Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement.
But “given the disaster situation, we are examining a postponement of the parade”, Abe told reporters after he visited shelters in Fukushima to meet typhoon survivors.
Nearly 80 people were killed in Typhoon Hagibis, which slammed into Japan on Saturday night, causing widespread damage.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in Tokyo that Abe has already ordered his cabinet to start rearranging the schedule.
“We are adjusting it, considering various situations comprehensively,” Suga said without elaboration.
But he added that the religious rites and imperial banquet associated with the event were still on schedule.
Public broadcaster NHK said the parade was likely to be rescheduled for November 10, and the new schedule would be confirmed at a cabinet meeting on Friday.
Naruhito officially succeeded his father Akihito in May, but a series of ceremonies and rites celebrating his enthronement are scheduled this month and later this year — including the official enthronement ceremony and parade originally planned for next Tuesday.
Japan is still carrying out search and recovery operations after Hagibis, which brought unprecedented rain that caused significant flooding.