Naruhito vows to fulfil duty as Japanese symbol of state

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and members of the royal family shouting "banzai", which translates to "long live the Emperor", at the enthronement ceremony of Japan's Emperor Naruhito (top left) and Empress Masako yesterday. Royalty and political leaders
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and members of the royal family shouting "banzai", which translates to "long live the Emperor", at the enthronement ceremony of Japan's Emperor Naruhito (top left) and Empress Masako yesterday. Royalty and political leaders from about 180 countries, including Singapore, were also in attendance. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Japan's Emperor Naruhito, in an age-old enthronement ceremony steeped in ritual, yesterday vowed to fulfil his duty as the symbol of the state under the pacifist Constitution, as he wished for peace of the world.

The formal declaration, known as the Sokuirei Seiden no Gi, is part of a year-long series of ceremonies that the 59-year-old monarch has been going through since May 1, when he succeeded his father Akihito, 85, to the Chrysanthemum Throne.

Royalty and political leaders from about 180 nations, including Singapore President Halimah Yacob, witnessed yesterday's ceremony and attended a court banquet hosted by the royal couple last night.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2019, with the headline 'Naruhito vows to fulfil duty as Japanese symbol of state'. Print Edition | Subscribe