See More on Facebook

Culture and society

Emperor vows to stand with the people

Naruhito made his first address to the people of Japan as emperor on Wednesday.


Written by

Updated: May 2, 2019

The Emperor succeeded to the throne on Wednesday, the first day of the Reiwa era, according to the special measures law on the Imperial House Law.

The Kenji-to-Shokei-no-gi ceremony was held in which the Emperor inherited the Imperial Regalia, or the sacred sword and jewels, and the State Seal and Privy Seal as proof of his accession to the throne, in the Seiden-Matsu-no-Ma state room at the Imperial Palace on Wednesday morning.

Later, the Emperor received an audience of representatives of the people for the Sokui-go-Choken-no-gi ceremony in the same room. There, he made his first address as Emperor, saying, “I will act according to the Constitution and fulfill my responsibility as the symbol of the State … while always turning my thoughts to the people and standing with them.”

The Emperor’s first official duty was carried out at just past 10 a.m. in the Kiku-no-Ma room at the Imperial Palace when he approved the decision by the Cabinet that the two ceremonies associated with his accession to the throne be held as state ceremonies.

The Kenji-to-Shokei-no-gi started at 10:30 a.m. and the Emperor entered the Seiden-Matsu-no-Ma in a most prestigious tailcoat and wearing decorations.

Crown Prince Akishino, who became koshi, the status for the first in line to the Imperial throne, and Prince Hitachi in a wheel chair followed the Emperor. The ceremony was also attended by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the heads of both chambers of the Diet, the chief justice of the Supreme Court and Cabinet members.

After the Emperor stood in position on the dais, four chamberlains brought in the sacred sword, the magatama beads, the State Seal and Privy Seal, which the Emperor uses in matters of state. These were placed on stands before the Emperor.

The ceremony ended in about five minutes as the Emperor left the room with chamberlains who held the sacred sword and jewels. The sword and magatama are expected to be housed at the Emperor’s residence, the Akasaka Imperial Palace. The sacred mirror, another proof of his accession to the throne, is being kept at Kashikodokoro, one of the Kyuchu Sanden three sanctuaries in the Imperial Palace.

Thirteen adults of the Imperial family, including the Empress, Crown Prince Akishino and his wife Crown Princess Kiko, participated in the Sokui-go-Choken-no-gi, which started at 11:12 a.m. Prime Minister Abe, the heads of both chambers of the Diet, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Cabinet members, prefectural governors and representatives of prefectural assembly members were also among those who attended.

During the ceremony based on the Constitution and the special measures law on the Imperial House Law, the Emperor announced that he has taken over the throne and prayed for “the happiness of the people and the further development of the nation as well as the peace of the world.”

As the representative of the people, Abe gave a speech to express congratulations to the Emperor, the symbol of the state, and said that he will “create an era in which culture is born and grows among people who care for each other in a beautiful manner.”

On Wednesday afternoon, the Emperor attended a ceremony to appoint officials with Imperial attestation for Nobutake Odano as the grand chamberlain and Chikao Kawai as the grand chamberlain for the joko Emperor Emeritus. Both took on their posts Wednesday.

The Emperor and Empress then visited Fukiage Sento Gosho to greet the Emperor Emeritus and jokogo Empress Emerita, and later received the blessing of Imperial family members among others at the Imperial Palace.Speech



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Japan News
About the Author: The Japan News is published by The Yomiuri Shimbun, which boasts the largest circulation in the world.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Culture and society

Taiwan becomes first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage

The legislation was passed on Friday. Taiwan made history on May 17 as the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, after most lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) voted to pass a Cabinet-sponsored bill that gives gay couples the right to get married. The bill, titled Enforcement Act of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748, cleared the legislative floor at 3:30 p.m. on Friday. The new law will take effect May 24, allowing two persons of the same gender, aged 18 or older, to register a marriage, with at least two witnesses signing the registration document. Either partner in the marriage will be allowed to adopt the biological children of the other, under the law. However, non-biological children who had been adopted by one partner before the marriage cannot be adopted by the other partner, it states. The New Power Party (NPP) caucus had submitted a motion


By ANN Members
May 19, 2019

Culture and society

Bangladeshis will be richer than Indians by 2030

This according to a new report by Standard Chartered bank. Bangladeshis will be richer than Indians by 2030 as the country’s per capita income will grow nearly four times throughout the 2020s, according to Standard Chartered — in yet another endorsement of its tremendous growth momentum. The per capita income of Bangladesh will rise to $5,734.6 in 2030. India’s will edge up to $5,423.4 after growing less than three times, according to a research note from Madhur Jha, Standard Chartered India’s head of thematic research, and David Mann, the bank’s global chief economist. Last year, Bangladesh’s per capita income stood at $1,599.8 and India’s $1,913.2. The note highlights the economies around the world that are likely to grow the fastest in the 2020s. The threshold for the list is 7 percent, the approximate growth rate at which an economy can double in size every 10 years.


By Daily Star
May 17, 2019

Culture and society

Kami Rita Sherpa climbs Everest for the 23rd time

Sherpa breaks his own record and is untouched as the man who has summited Everest the most number of times. Soft-spoken and always smiling, Kami Rita Sherpa is an affable man. At 49, he is lean and wiry, with a forehead burnt brown from the sun. But his amiable manner belies his accomplishments. On Wednesday morning, Kami Rita Sherpa scaled Mount Everest for the 23rd time, breaking his own record for the most ascents of the world’s highest peak. On the mountain, Kami Rita is seemingly unstoppable. But despite his unparalleled feats of skill and endurance on the world’s highest peak, he remains humble. “Climbing is my duty,” Kami Rita had told the Post in April, before he returned to Everest. “It’s not about the money, I enjoy working on the mountains.”


By The Kathmandu Post
May 16, 2019

Culture and society

Junta loyalists pack Senate in Thailand

The senate will have a key role to play in choosing the next prime minister. The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) took a major step towards retaining power by naming scores of people it patronises and who are loyal to it as constitutionally endorsed senators. Of the 250 names announced yesterday for the junta-picked Senate, 104 were military or police officers –retired and in service – while other figures included former members of junta-appointed bodies who had served the post-coup regime in the past five years. The move marks an about-turn for the junta, which had pledged to stay away from politics and had come to power promising to cleanse the country of corruption and nepotism. In addition to people from the Armed Forces, the senator list also included family members of junta leaders as well as close aides. The list includes General Pree


By The Nation (Thailand)
May 15, 2019

Culture and society

Growing number of companies not hiring smokers in Japan

Domestic firms are taking stronger action against tobacco use, going so far as to avoid hiring smokers in some cases. Domestic firms are making the move amid greater emphasis on promoting employees’ health, limiting exposure to passive smoking and boosting productivity by eliminating “smoking breaks.” Some, however, are questioning whether the latest initiatives go too far beyond existing antismoking efforts, such as the designation of smoking areas. “Combating smoking is a means through which companies can remake themselves,” Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Himawari Life Insurance Inc. President Yasuhiro Oba said after the inauguration ceremony for a corporate consortium to reduce smoking held in Tokyo last month. More than 20 companies and groups convened for the initiative. Sompo has stepped up promotion of an insurance service that helps policyho


By The Japan News
May 14, 2019

Culture and society

Police impose curfew in Sri Lanka after anti-Muslim violence

The violence are seen as reprisal for terrorist attacks carried out last month by Islamist extremists. A Police curfew was imposed last night throughout the country until 4.00 am today to prevent the spread of violence that erupted in Kuliyapitiya on Sunday night after angry mobs set prayer centres and shops owned by Muslims on fire in the latest fallout from the Easter bombings. An extremist political group was behind yesterday’s riots at Hettipola that lead to the destruction of several Muslim owned shops and houses, a senior police officer from Kurunegala told The Island. Although no one was hurt during the riots there was property damage, which was being assessed, he said. A number of youth in the area were roused into violence by an extremist group. Police had to impose curfew until 4 am today and called in riot squads and STF units to bolster security. “They were travelling o


By The Island
May 14, 2019