Tokyo. The Japanese government decided on Friday to pardon about 550,000 people on occasion of Emperor Naruhito's upcoming enthronement ceremony, media reported. Pardons will be issued only to those who have been found guilty of minor crimes and finished their prison terms or paid fines, the NHK broadcaster said. Nullifying their penalties is meant to encourage the social reintegration of these people.
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In addition, 1,000 more people, sentenced to long prison terms, will be pardoned for humanitarian concerns over their serious illnesses.
Japan’s Emperor Akihito, 85, officially abdicated due to his age and deteriorating health in favor of his son Naruhito, 59, in late April. Naruhito has succeeded to the throne and the ceremony devoted to the ascension has been scheduled for October 22.
Earlier, the Japanese government postponed celebrations to mark the enthronement ceremony to November 10 in the wake of devastating typhoon Hagibis that has killed at least 77 people.