Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko heard lectures from top researchers in the year’s “kosho hajime no gi” (first lecture ceremony) event at the Imperial Palace on Tuesday.
Crown Prince Naruhito, Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko also attended the traditional New Year’s event.
The lecturers were Masanori Aoyagi, 65, a Western art historian, Taichiro Mitani, 73, an authority on Japan’s political and diplomatic history, and Sumio Iijima, 70, a material science expert, who each gave a 15-minute lecture, palace officials said.
Aoyagi, director of the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo, discussed the goods distribution system in the Roman Empire, while Mitani, a professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, talked about citizen participation in the judicial system.
Iijima, a professor at Meijo University in Nagoya, lectured about nanoscience and nanotechnology, the officials said.