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  HOME PAGE 20/04/2024 22:42 
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Japan's Royal Family Joins Instagram

03.04.2024 00:42

Imperial Household Agency’s account attracts nearly half million followers on 1st day.

Japan's royal family made their social media debut on Instagram in an effort to shake off their somewhat reclusive image.

Dubbed the world's oldest monarchy, they reached out to netizens on Monday with a barrage of photos and videos shared through the social networking service.

The Imperial Household Agency manages the account.

The posts focused on public engagements by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako over the past three months and their page had already attracted nearly half a million followers.

The account does not follow anyone or interact with the public. Users cannot comment on posts and can only press the "like" button.

According to the Japanese Constitution, the emperor represents "the symbol of the state and the unity of the people." Other members of the royal family perform ceremonial and social duties but no role in government affairs.

Grappling with the challenge of continuing the monarchy's heredity amid the country's ageing population, a government body in 2021 recommended two measures to solve the problem.

The body suggested that female members of the imperial family who marry commoners should be allowed to retain their royal status.

It also proposed that male heirs "from former branches be adopted into the imperial family," while imperial law prohibits adopting children.

Japan's imperial law only allows male accession to the throne with an heir who has an emperor on his father's side. Those female members who marry outside to a commoner lose their royal status.

The suggestions were submitted as former Princess Mako, the niece of Emperor Naruhito, married her sweetheart that year and flew to the US, where they settled.

Naruhito's only daughter, Princess Aiko, 22, started a professional career with the Japanese Red Cross Society on Monday.

Japan is a constitutional monarchy. The imperial family is said to have originated with the mythical Emperor Jimmu, but its roots are traced to Emperor Kinmei in the 6th century. -

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