Dozens of parties, a new calendar and ten days mandatory vacation. No, in Japan they do not light on the arrival of a new emperor. Only hear criticism – even to the new ruler feels uncomfortable – about the cost: 133 million euro. And believe it or not, that leave find they are not fun.
2016, the Japanese emperor royal highness akihito surprised the world with an unusual request: he wants to resign. That is so very exceptional that the constitution making needs to be adjusted. His health let the emperor …
2016, the Japanese emperor royal highness akihito surprised the world with an unusual request: he wants to resign. That is so very exceptional that the constitution making needs to be adjusted. His health, let the emperor no longer, ” he says. The law of important experiences has changed and so is tomorrow an end to an era. Literally, because a new emperor, also brings a new calendar. From 1 may, and in the era of ‘Reiwa’ again from the year zero is counted.
Tomorrow the 85-year-old royal highness akihito during a ceremony at the palace to resign, the day after it ascends to his son Naruhito (59) all of the throne. That throne, which is preserved in Kyoto, for the occasion, transferred to the current capital. The palace gets Naruhito also some of the symbols of the power handed over: a string of pearls, a mirror and a sword.
The big festivities are in contrast with what the emperor has to say: absolutely nothing. Article 1 of the Constitution stipulates that he is only a symbolic function. That became law after the Second world War, drawn up with the help of the Americans. They were the former emperor, the father of royal highness akihito, on the throne, but made him vleugellam. To compare with our king, ” says professor Dimitri Vanoverbeke, days of japanologist at the KU Leuven. ‘Though who do have political power, for example, when a government is to be formed. In Japan, is also gone. They are very afraid of the ghosts of the past. When royal highness akihito in 1989, in taipei, taiwan, he declared the Constitution to abide by. Even that was considered an unheard-of political statement.”
Those ghosts where Vanoverbeke about, that is, of course, the Second world War. At that time, was an emperor, however powerful. The figure was seen as the messenger of the gods on earth. “The emperor had a divine power in shintoism. It was that after the war, and also church and state are absolutely separated.”
Still, god and by each other. “A large part of these events around the change of power – 43 in total – consists of form of shinto rituals. In november, the most important event place: fresh rice harvested and sacrificed. This is a new building erected (cost: 18.4 million euros for the building, including degradation, ed.). Take them to the banquets for thousands of guests and it quickly becomes expensive. The government drew 133 million euros. In Japan rages now the debate on whether such a transfer have to be paid for with public funds. Judges have already ruled that it is mainly the tradition is, that may be retained.’
Even the emperors – old and new – are struggling with the issue. ‘Royal highness akihito, that was a motivation to life the power. If he were to die, would the transfer much more expensive. And also Naruhito has already asked for the many events to restrict, because he also does not want the costs add up.’
Japan makes the bridge
How small the political power, however, has royal highness akihito a lot of respect. ‘Major disasters is an emperor on the spot. After the earthquake in Fukushima, he visited victims and he sat down next to them. For Japanese, it is an incredible gesture that an emperor is on their level.”
That new era has, however, an annoying side effect: new calendars and a new era, with a risk of a Japanese millennium bug. “On many official documents – driving licences, trouwaktes… – is still the old count, and many companies should assess their systems soon enough will work.’ There are also reports of ‘kalenderfraude’, where fraudsters citizens in e-mails asking for their data to adjust and so, for example, the code of a bank card scam.
In any case, does this whole circus for every Japanese: ten days vacation. “Around this period, there is already the Golden Week, with a few national holidays. But by the transfer of power come another two days and is also the bridge between all of those days.” That would make you a Belgian, not two times to say: ‘But in Japan it is really exceptional,” says Vanoverbeke. ‘The half of the Japanese takes his paid leave. Ten compulsory days and sometimes even inconvenient. Some people go on holiday, but many know now just aren’t what they should do with all that free time’.