Japan’s Naruhito formally proclaims throne in grand ancient ceremony

Japan’s Emperor Naruhito has proclaimed his ascension to the throne in an elaborate ceremony.

The 59-year-old Emperor Naruhito officially began his reign on 1 May. But the ceremonies conducted on that were simpler and ment for immediate succession.

The previous Emperor Akihito, abdicated his throne due to poor health, becoming the first monarch to abdicate in more than 200 years.

In a series of traditional rituals, Naruhito’s ascension has been formalised. A celebration parade was postponed out of respect for the victims of Typhoon Hagibis.

In the Sokui no Rei – or the Ceremony of Accession Emperor Naruhito moved inside the 6.5m-high Takamikura throne.

He read out a formal proclamation, dressed in a yellow-orange robe worn only by emperors on special occasions.

“I swear that I will act according to the constitution and fulfil my responsibility as the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people,” a translated speech read.

His wife wearing a traditional 12 layer robe ascended into a separate smaller throne.

Empress Masako was seated on an adjacent throne

The ceremony, conducted largely in silence, was held in the presence of an ancient sword and jewels.

The event was attended by hundreds of foreign leaders including UK’s Prince Charles.

The emperor would be hosting a tea party to foreign guests, while the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would hold a banquet in the evening.