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Emperor Naruhito delivers first speech as Emperor of Japan

Emperor Naruhito has delivered his first speech as Emperor of Japan in the second ceremony “Sokuigo Choken no Gi” this morning in the State Room of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

This ceremony, which began at 11.10 am, saw Naruhito meet representatives of the people for the first time in his new role.

There were 266 people in attendance including representatives from both chambers of the Diet, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and members of the Imperial Family.

The Emperor and Empress during the ceremony. NHK/Fair Use

During his remarks, His Majesty spoke fondly of his father’s reign, saying the Emperor Emeritus undertook his role with earnest and with prayers for peace.

“I will devote myself to self-improvement and swear I will act according to the Constitution,” the Emperor stated.

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.

Prime Minister Abe delivers greetings on behalf of the Japanese people. NHK/Fair Use

Unlike the previous morning inheritance ceremony, female members of the Imperial Family were permitted to attend. As it was a formal event, the Empress and Princesses showed off the impressive jewel and tiara collection of the Japanese Imperial Family.

The Sokuigo Choken no Gi ceremony took place in the State Room which is the most prestigious in the Imperial Palace.

Earlier this morning, Emperor Naruhito took part in his first official event – the inheritance ceremony, Kenji to Shokei no Gi – in his new role.

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.

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.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites.