Photo/IllutrationA rehearsal is held in Tokyo on Oct. 6 for the Shukuga-Onretsu-no-Gi parade that will mark the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito on Oct. 22. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

About 550,000 people convicted of relatively minor offenses will be pardoned in connection with events marking Emperor Naruhito’s ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne on Oct. 22, government officials said.

The central government reported the plan at a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s General Council on Oct. 15.

The plan, announced by Shunichi Suzuki, chairman of the General Council, is expected to be approved at a Cabinet meeting on Oct. 18.

Pardons have been granted in relation to congratulatory and condolence events of the imperial family. The Cabinet approves the pardons, and the emperor confirms them as a state act.

The last round of such pardons was 26 years ago in 1993, when Naruhito and Empress Masako were married.

Pardons were twice granted during the transition from the Showa Era to the Heisei Era: the 1989 Taiso-no-Rei funeral ceremony for Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa, and the 1990 enthronement ceremony for Akihito, who is now emperor emeritus.

Suzuki did not disclose who would be covered in the latest pardon.

In light of strengthening protections and rights of crime victims, the government decided to reduce the scale of the pardons for Naruhito’s enthronement ceremony. For the enthronement ceremony of his father in 1990, about 2.5 million people received pardons.