Japan's new emperor Naruhito pays tribute to his father

Japan's new Emperor Naruhito waves as he arrives at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan, on May 1, 2019.
Japan's new Emperor Naruhito waves as he arrives at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan, on May 1, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO • Japanese Emperor Naruhito, on his first day on the Chrysanthemum Throne yesterday, said he holds in high regard the "profound compassion" of his father, Emperor Emeritus Akihito, as he vowed to fulfil his duties as the "symbol of the State and of the unity of the People".

In his first public address laying out his vision for his reign, he said he was filled with a "sense of solemnity" by his responsibility as he vowed to always stand by the people, and prayed for world peace.

Leaders of countries such as the United States, China, South Korea and Singapore sent congratulatory messages, while millions of Japanese rang in the first day of the Reiwa (beautiful harmony) era yesterday with festive cheer.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2019, with the headline 'Japan's new emperor pays tribute to his father'. Print Edition | Subscribe