Naruhito becomes Japan’s new emperor, hopes for country’s progress

Japan’s Emperor Akihito

There, he made his first address as Emperor, saying, "I will act according to the Constitution and fulfill my responsibility as the symbol of the State. while always turning my thoughts to the people and standing with them".

Prime Minister Abe then delivered greetings on behalf of the Japanese people and wished the Emperor a peaceful reign, while also expressing hopes that the new Reiwa era would be prosperous.

But the real pomp and ceremony will wait until October 22 when he and Masako will appear in elaborate traditional robes for a palace ceremony before parading through the streets of Tokyo to be congratulated by a host of world leaders and royals.

Japan gets a new emperor Naruhito, following his father's historic abdication from the Chrysanthemum Throne, the world's oldest monarchy.

After that, female royalty will enter the room and Naruhito will make his first public remarks as emperor.

"I believe that just as new winds blow in every age, the role of the imperial family changes in each age as well", Naruhito said at a news conference on his birthday in 2017.

The ritual will be conducted in the presence of the imperial regalia - an ancient sword and jewel - considered crucial evidence of an emperor's legitimacy. 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.

He will become the first foreign leader to meet the new emperor on a trip in May.

Masako, who reportedly suffers from a stress disorder, had admitted in December that she felt "insecure" about becoming empress but pledged to do her best to serve the people of Japan.

He has suggested the royal family should modernise, and vowed when he married Masako - who left behind a promising diplomatic career - to protect her "at any cost".

Crown Prince Akishino, who became koshi, the status for the first in line to the Imperial throne, and Prince Hitachi in a wheel chair followed the Emperor.

Naruhito is the first monarch raised by his own parents, as Akihito and Michiko, who was born a commoner, chose to take care of their children instead of leaving them in the hands of palace staff. Their guests included a female Cabinet minister, however, as the Imperial House Law has no provision on the gender of the commoners in attendance.

Why is the Japanese monarchy important? Legends date it back to about 600 BC.

"People saw a human side of a man defending his wife and I think people admired him a great deal for that", said Jeff Kingston, Asian studies director at Temple University's Japan Campus.

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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