In Ancient Throne Ritual, Japanese Emperor Naruhito Vows to Fulfill Duty
Japanese Emperor Naruhito formally proclaimed his ascendancy to the throne on Tuesday in a centuries-old ceremony attended by dignitaries from more than 180 countries, pledging to fulfil his duty as a symbol of the state, Reuters reports.
Naruhito became emperor and his wife Masako became empress on May 1 in a brief ceremony, but Tuesday’s “Sokui no Rei” was a more elaborate ritual at the royal palace in which he officially announced his change in status to the world.
“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 about 2,000 guests, including Britain’s Prince Charles.
The first Japanese emperor born after World War Two, Naruhito acceded to the throne when his father, Akihito, became the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in two centuries after worrying that advancing age might make it hard to perform official duties.
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