Japan’s Emperor Naruhito has thanked the public for celebrating his enthronement which took place last month.
A national festival took place yesterday in Tokyo’s Imperial Palace Plaza with all-male idol group Arashi performing with blind pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke at the event, as did actor Matsumoto Hakuo and actress Mana Ashida.
Their Imperial Majesties stood on a stone bridge to watch the performances and speeches which included Arashi’s performance of a song written by Yoshikazu Okada and composed by Yoko Kanno.
Emperor Naruhito spoke to those assembled saying, “I deeply appreciate your celebration of the enthronement…As I wish for the happiness of the people, I hope for the further development of our country and peace for the world.”
An estimated 30,000 attended the celebrations last night in Tokyo according to organisers.
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako took part in a 4.6-kilometre route parade today in celebration of the enthronement. The route saw them go from the Imperial Palace to the family’s residence at Akasaka Estate. It was due to take place at the end of October alongside the rest of the enthronement activities. However, due to the devastation and deaths caused by Typhoon Hagibis, it was postponed until November.
The Emperor spoke about the natural disaster last night, as well, saying, “I sincerely hope restoration work will progress, and that people affected by the disaster will return to a life in which they feel secure as soon as possible.”