Japan's new Emperor Naruhito ascends Chrysanthemum Throne

Japan’s Emperor Akihito

The emperor under Japan's constitution is a symbol without political power.

Former Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko stepped down on Tuesday after three decades as the nation's top royals in a brief, simple ceremony, with Akihito thanking the people of Japan and saying he prayed for peace.

Prior to the ceremonies, Abe said in an informal gathering of Cabinet ministers held after an extraordinary Cabinet meeting, "I celebrate the enthronement of the emperor from my heart".

Japan's new emperor Naruhito ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne in a low-key ceremony, taking over his father's duties to serve as the symbol of a nation facing slower economic growth and an aging population.

This ceremony, which began at 11.10 am, saw Naruhito meet representatives of the people for the first time in his new role.

The regalia, which include sword and jewel, in a box each and wrapped in cloth, were presented to Naruhito, who wore a tuxedo with decorations. I would like to express my heartfelt respect and appreciation of the comportment shown by His Majesty the Emperor Emeritus as the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people of Japan. The name appears on coins, newspapers, driver's licences and official documents; it also stands for a certain period and what is seen as its defining spirit - such as "the 90s" or "the Victorian era", the BBC wrote in an explainer on the new Emperor and his gengo. "But I will protect you for my entire life".

Masako was educated at Harvard and Oxford and had a promising career as a diplomat before her marriage.

In a statement released on her birthday in December, Masako pledged to do her best despite feeling "insecure" about becoming empress.

The couple's only child, Princess Aiko, was born in 2001.

Naruhito's brother Prince Fumihito will be next in line to the throne, followed by the new emperor's nephew, 12-year-old Prince Hisahito. Their guests included a female Cabinet minister, however, as the Imperial House Law has no provision on the gender of the commoners in attendance.

The monarchy is an institution beloved of the Japanese people, and an integral part of their national identity.

It's the oldest continuing hereditary monarchy in the world.

Then, Japan ruled the world economically in the middle of a technology-fuelled boom that caused soaring land prices and sparked wild cost comparisons: the Imperial Palace grounds were said to be worth more than all of Canada.

He also endeared himself to many Japanese people by interacting with those suffering from natural disasters and disease.

At around 7:20 a.m., an Imperial Household Agency staff member tipped off police after finding a "person collapsed" and bleeding in a restricted area of the tomb for Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa.



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