The government on Dec. 22 allocated 3.56 billion yen in the fiscal 2018 draft budget to preparations for the abdication of Emperor Akihito and the succession of Crown Prince Naruhito.
Emperor Akihito is set to step down on April 30, 2019, and Crown Prince Naruhito is to take the throne the following day, on May 1, 2019.
The 3.56 billion yen in allocated funds covers preparations for ceremonies relating to the imperial succession, and the setting up of a residence for Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko after abdication.
As funds necessary for the ceremonies, the government allocated over 1.65 billion yen, which would cover the cost of garments that Crown Prince Naruhito and other Imperial Family members will be wearing, as well as furnishings that will be necessary at the ceremony venue. Transporting and repairing the stages on which Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako will be standing -- the "takamikura" and the "michodai," respectively -- during the enthronement ceremony was allocated 500 million yen. The stages are currently kept at Kyoto Imperial Palace.
Following his abdication, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will move from the Imperial Palace in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward to Togu Palace in Tokyo's Minato Ward, switching places with Crown Prince Naruhito and his family. During the period in which repairs will be made to the Imperial Palace and the Togu Palace, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will temporarily stay at the former residence of late Prince and Princess Takamatsu, also known as the Takanawa Imperial Residence, in Minato Ward, Tokyo.
In the draft budget, 1.73 billion yen was allocated to repairing the now uninhabited Takanawa Residence and other expenses.