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Japanese Emperor Naruhito formally proclaimed his ascendancy to the throne on Tuesday in a centuries-old ceremony attended by dignitaries from more than 180 countries, pledging to fulfil his duty as a symbol of the state.
Naruhito became emperor and his wife Masako became empress on May 1 in a brief ceremony, but Tuesday's 'Sokui no Rei' was a more elaborate ritual at the royal palace in which he officially announced his change in status to the world.
Constitution - Responsibility - Symbol - State - Unity
'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,' the 59-year-old declared, his voice slightly hoarse, in front of about 2,000 guests, including Britain's Prince Charles.
'I sincerely hope that Japan will develop further and contribute to the friendship and peace of the international community, and to the welfare and prosperity of human beings through the people's wisdom and ceaseless efforts.'
Emperor - World - War - Naruhito - Throne
The first Japanese emperor born after World War Two, Naruhito acceded to the throne when his father, Akihito, became the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in two centuries after worrying that advancing age might make it hard to perform official duties. He is 85.
The long-planned celebrations, for which Japan declared a national holiday, were tempered by Typhoon Hagibis, which killed at least 82 people when it tore through Japan 10 days ago, and pouring rain early on Tuesday.
Parade - Month - Government - Attention - Typhoon
A public parade was postponed until next month to allow the government to devote its attention to the typhoon clean-up, while Tuesday's inclement weather forced the palace to scale back the number of courtiers in ancient robes taking part in the courtyard ceremony although the skies cleared as it began.
At the sound of a gong in the Matsu-no-Ma, or Hall of Pine, the most prestigious room in the palace, two...
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