Tokyo: Japan’s new Emperor Naruhito, whose ascension was formalised earlier on Wednesday, gave his first address and expressed hope for happiness and world peace during his era.
Naruhito, became emperor at midnight on Tuesday when the new imperial era Reiwa began in Japan, however he then took part in a ceremony that formalised his ascension to the Chrysanthemum throne, the BBC reported.
The Kenji-to-Shokei-no-gi or Ceremony for Inheriting the Imperial Regalia and Seals began at 10.15 a.m.
Female royals were not allowed to be there so Empress Masako, Emperor Naruhito’s wife, was not present.
Naruhito symbolically received two objects — a sword and a gem — which are passed down through generations of emperors and are seen as the symbols of imperial power.
The new Reiwa era — which means order and harmony — will last throughout Naruhito’s reign.
In a short speech at the Imperial Palace, Emperor Naruhito said he hoped “for the happiness of the people… progress of the country, and world peace”.
Naruhito, 59, also expressed gratitude towards his father Emperor Emeritus Akihito, 85, who became the first emperor to abdicate in more than 200 years on Tuesday,
“(He) performed each of his duties in earnest for more than 30 years,” the new emperor said. “He showed profound compassion through his own bearing. I would like to express my heartfelt respect and appreciation.”
His voice was breaking when he talked about Akihito’s service to the country.