Japan Holds Enthronement Ceremony For Emperor

Japan holds enthronement ceremony for Emperor

People in Japan and around the world have witnessed a series of events marking the new Emperor's accession. Emperor Naruhito took the throne in May, and on Tuesday, dignitaries from Japan and other countries celebrated his enthronement.

After exchanging congratulatory greetings with the Imperial couple, they attended the first of four court banquets marking the occasion.

Wearing formal attire, many of the 400 guests from more than 180 countries are heads of state and government. A nine-course Japanese-style dinner was served, and the first banquet finished later in the day.

Earlier on Tuesday, the guests attended the main event-- a traditional enthronement ceremony in which the Emperor proclaimed his accession.

Emperor Naruhito said: "I pledge hereby that I shall act according to the Constitution and fulfill my responsibility as the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people of Japan, while always wishing for the happiness of the people and the peace of the world, turning my thoughts to the people and standing by them. I sincerely hope that our country, through our people's wisdom and unceasing efforts, achieves further development and contributes to the friendship and peace of the international community and the welfare and prosperity of humankind."

The prime minister delivered a congratulatory address and led three rounds of banzai, a traditional Japanese exclamation wishing a long life.

A motorcade parade was planned for the day, but the government postponed it to focus on recovery efforts in the areas affected by Typhoon Hagibis. The Imperial procession is now scheduled for November 10th.