Imperial family to move to Palace in September

NHK -- Jun 24
NHK has learned that Japan's Emperor Naruhito and his family are expected to move into the residence at the Imperial Palace as early as mid-September.

Refurbishment work on the Imperial residence is underway after the Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita moved out of it into a temporary residence in March last year. The move is a step toward swapping residences following the Imperial succession.

Sources have told NHK that notice on bidding for the moving work for the Emperor and his family was given in the government's gazette on Wednesday. The refurbishment work will be completed at the end of this month.

The sources say a contractor will be chosen as early as mid-August, and the moving work will start after the Tokyo Paralympic Games end on September 5.

It will be carried out while the Imperial family are staying at a villa outside Tokyo, and will take about 10 days.

It will be the first time in a year and half that the Imperial family will be living at the Palace.

Renovation work will start on the current residence of the Emperor and his family on Akasaka Estate after they leave, with more barrier-free structures such as elevators to be installed. The Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita will move in after the work is completed in four or five months.

The Akasaka residence is where the Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita spent about 30 years after their marriage.