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Emperor Naruhito takes part in inheritance ceremony

New era begins in Japan

Emperor Naruhito of Japan has taken part in the inheritance ceremony, Kenji to Shokei no Gi this morning in Japan. This was his first official event as the 126th Emperor of Japan, and it was aired live on Japanese television.

The five-minute ceremony in the State Room of the Imperial Palace (the same room his father abdicated in yesterday) began at 10.30 am local time and marked the inheritance of the Imperial Regalia and State and Privy Seals as the new Emperor of Japan.

The ceremony began with the Emperor entering behind senior Imperial Household Agency officials. His younger brother stood beside him at one the side of the stage while his uncle sat in a wheelchair on the other side.

NHK/Fair Use

The Imperial Regalia and Privy and State Seals were placed on stands in front of the Emperor as a symbol and proof of his inheriting the throne.

The only Imperial Family members in attendance were the male adults in the line of succession – Prince Akishino, the heir to the throne and brother of the Emperor, and  Prince Hitachi, the uncle of the Emperor. No female members of the Imperial Family were permitted to attend.

Prince Hitachi. NHK/Fair Use

Prime Minister Abe, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and Representatives from both chambers of the Diet were also in attendance. One woman was in attendance as a member of the Diet; she is the first woman to attend.

The Emperor will next take part in the Sokuigo Choken no Gi ceremony at 11.10 where he will meet representatives of the people for the first time in his new role.

Yesterday evening, Emperor Akihito, 85, officially abdicated the Chrysanthemum Throne in a live ceremony “Taiirei Seiden no Gi” aired on Japanese television. He is now known as the Emperor Emeritus.

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