TOKYO: Japan’s Emperor Naruhito on Tuesday (Oct 22) formally proclaimed his enthronement in front of royals and leaders from around the world, completing his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne.
Dressed in a ceremonial outfit dominated by a draped outer robe in copper, Naruhito announced: “I hereby declare my enthronement at home and abroad.”
The ceremony was conducted largely in silence, with only drums and gongs sounding. Some 2,000 guests, including foreign dignitaries and royalty, stood at the sound of a deep drum beat before the proclamation began.
“I swear that I will act according to the constitution and fulfil my responsibility as the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people,” the 59-year-old declared, his voice slightly hoarse, in front of guests that included Britain’s Prince Charles.
“I sincerely hope that Japan will develop further and contribute to the friendship and peace of the international community, and to the welfare and prosperity of human beings through the people’s wisdom and ceaseless efforts.”
When the ceremony was complete, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cried “Banzai!” (“Long live the emperor”) three times.
Naruhito officially assumed his duties as emperor on May 1, the day after his father became the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in two centuries.
But the transition was not complete until his new role was officially proclaimed.
In the wake of Typhoon Hagibis, the government postponed a royal parade until Nov 10, but the rest of the day’s ceremonies were left unchanged.