Emperor performs first ritual at Imperial Palace
NHK -- May 09
Emperor Naruhito has performed his first ritual at the Imperial Palace since his accession to the throne last week.

The Emperor visited the three Imperial sanctuaries Wednesday morning to report to the Sun Goddess, the souls of his ancestors, and various deities the dates of the Enthronement Ceremony and the Great Thanksgiving Ceremony.

He looked solemn, dressed for the first time in the court costume which has been the Emperor's formal attire for important rituals since ancient times.

Chamberlains accompanied him, carrying a sword and a jewel, two of the three sacred treasures that symbolize the status of the Emperor.

Inside the sanctuaries, the Emperor bowed and read out a statement reporting that the ceremony to proclaim his enthronement will be held on October 22 and the key ritual of the Great Thanksgiving Ceremony will be held from November 14 to 15.

Later, Empress Masako, in an ancient-style kimono and hairstyle, similarly bowed to the Imperial ancestors. It was her first visit to the three Imperial sanctuaries since December 2002.

The ceremony was witnessed by Crown Prince Akishino and seven other members of the Imperial family, as well as the country's leaders, including the prime minister, the heads of both chambers of the Diet, the chief justice of the supreme court and Cabinet members.

即位の礼と大嘗祭(だいじょうさい)の期日を伊勢神宮などに報告するため天皇陛下が使いを派遣する儀式「勅使発遣の儀」が皇居・宮殿で行われました。 8日午後2時すぎ、冠に御引直衣(おひきのうし)と呼ばれる装束に身を包んだ天皇陛下が宮殿「竹の間」に入られました。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
Aug 12
The nation entered the dog days of summer Tuesday as temperatures climbed above 40 degrees Celsius in some areas, prompting authorities to issue a heatstroke warning and encourage the removal of face masks in certain situations. (Japan Times)
Aug 12
A Japanese company that operates a cargo ship that ran aground off Mauritius says nearly half of the oil the vessel is believed to have leaked in the Indian Ocean has been collected. (NHK)
Aug 11
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government confirmed 188 new cases of COVID-19 infection Tuesday, holding below the 200 mark for a second straight day, but worries over the spread of the new coronavirus remained amid a heat wave in the middle of the Bon summer holiday period. (Japan Times)
Aug 11
Ninety-one people at a high school in Shimane Prefecture have tested positive in recent days for the novel coronavirus in a cluster outbreak centered on the boys’ soccer team, according to local authorities. (Japan Times)
Aug 11
The cumulative total of COVD-19 infections in Japan surpassed 50,000 on Monday, including about 700 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama in February. (Japan Times)
Aug 11
Narita Airport, one of the main travel hubs for the Tokyo area, has already begun to make changes to keep travelers and workers safe in the coronavirus era. (Nikkei)
Aug 11
Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako have held talks with the top disarmament affairs official of the United Nations. (NHK)
Aug 11
The number of people using public transport in Japan is much lower than normal for the time of year due to a surge in coronavirus infections. The Bon holiday period normally sees many visiting their hometown. (NHK)
Aug 10
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines says it believes more than 1,000 tons of oil have leaked from a bulk carrier that ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean on July 25. (NHK)
Aug 10
Japan's male smoking rate fell below 30 percent for the first time in 2019, slipping to 28.8 percent, down 2.3 percentage points from the previous study in 2016, according to a health ministry survey. (Japan Today)