Japan's imperial family will begin posting activities of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako on Instagram in an attempt to deepen public understanding of the household, especially among young people, the Imperial Household Agency said Monday.

The agency's official Instagram account will be made public on April 1. It will initially post photographs of events held between January and March, such as the Imperial New Year's Poetry Reading.

Photo shows an image of the official Instagram account of the Imperial Household Agency that will be opened to the public in April 2024. (Photo courtesy of the Imperial Household Agency)(Kyodo)

With the agency eyeing gradual expansions of social media activities, it will consider posting content on Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko, as well as other family members, it said.

The agency established a formal press relations office in April last year to revamp its public outreach and studied the possibility of using social media as part of efforts to proactively share information about the imperial family.

The move comes after the agency struggled with sharp, often slanderous, online reactions to former princess Mako's engagement and 2021 marriage to her university sweetheart, Kei Komuro.

The agency has suggested that proactive disclosure of accurate information could help counter the bashing of the family.

While overseas royals like the British royal family use various social media tools, the Japanese agency's website has consisted of the emperor's and other working family members' schedules, images and speeches at events.

Related coverage:

Emperor worried about weak ties to British royals before 1998 visit

Japan emperor mourns quake victims, hopes to visit disaster-hit areas

Princess Aiko to work at Japanese Red Cross Society from April