Marking the fifth anniversary of Emperor Naruhito’s accession

(Screenshot/Fair use)

As we mark the fifth anniversary of Emperor Naruhito of Japan’s accession, we take a look back at that historic day.

It was announced on 1 December 2017 that Naruhito’s father, Emperor Akihito, would be abdicating on 30 April 2019 and that Naruhito was to become the next Emperor of Japan the following day. Emperor Akihito had been citing his wish to abdicate for health reasons since August 2016. The date was chosen so that Emperor Akihito could celebrate 30 years on the throne. Legislation, which was required as the Imperial House Law did not provide for an abdication, was then drafted to allow the Emperor to abdicate.

The abdication ceremony took place on 30 April 2019, although officially, Emperor Akihito’s reign and the so-called Heisei era continued until midnight. Naruhito officially succeeded him at midnight, and he formally began his reign that morning in the Reiwa era.

In a statement, the new Emperor said, “I swear that I will reflect deeply on the course followed by the Emperor Emeritus … and fulfil my responsibility as the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people of Japan.”

The enthronement ceremony took place on 22 October 2019 with many foreign royal guests.

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