Japanese royalty debuts on Instagram as world's oldest monarchy seeks youth.  

Tokyo — On Monday, Japan's imperial family launched an Instagram campaign to shed their secretive reputation and reach out to younger users. The Imperial Household Agency, which manages the family, issued 60 images and five films of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako's public appearances over the past three months.  

The agency claimed Instagram was picked because of its popularity among youth to help the public comprehend the family's professional tasks. Kunaicho_jp had over 270,000 followers by Monday night.  

The first snapshot showed the imperial couple beaming on a sofa with their 22-year-old daughter Princess Aiko on New Year's Day. Foreign dignitaries, notably Brunei Crown Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, met with the Imperial couple in other postings.  

Within a day, a video of Naruhito addressing well-wishers at his Feb. 23 birthday celebrations had over 21,000 views. The family's public tasks have been photographed, not private or candid moments. The agency said it might add royal activities.  

“It’s nice we get to see a bit of their activities because we hardly know what they are doing,” said 21-year-old student Koki Yoneura. “They seem closer to us, which is good.” Student Yukino Yoshiura was eager to see more Princess Aiko posts. “Aiko-sama is close to our age and just graduated from university, so I'm very happy to be able to see her images,” she remarked, honoring the princess.  

Both pupils claimed they wouldn't follow the royals on Instagram. The British royal family joined X, formerly Twitter, in 2009, 15 years before the Japanese imperial family. “I assumed they had one. I'm amazed they're making one now, remarked American student Daniela Kuthy. She claimed the substance was “very PR-clean,” but that wasn’t bad.  

His father, Emperor Emeritus Akihito, who abdicated in 2019, and his wife were adored. The royal family's fans are mostly older. Palace officials considered utilizing social media to promote the family and their activities. The agency created a team of experts to analyze the royal family's social media use last year.  

After the Emperor's niece Mako Komuro and her commoner husband were criticized on social media and in tabloids for her mother-in-law's finances, delaying her marriage, the agency became wary. The people did not completely celebrate her union, therefore she declined a dowry. The former princess said media criticism, notably online, caused psychological suffering.  

Social media could bring the royal family closer to the public and allow the agency to control the narrative and respond to disinformation, but experts worry about how the world's longest monarchy can be friendly without losing its nobility or causing conflict. The account has no followers or public interaction. Users can only “like” posts and not comment. The official website is used to deliver royal family messages  

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