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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Japan's Emperor Naruhito Formally Declares His Ascension to Throne

By VOANews October 22, 2019

Japan's new Emperor Naruhito formally ascended to the throne Tuesday in an elaborate ceremony in Tokyo.

Naruhito read out a proclamation at the Imperial Palace, promising to fulfill his responsibility as the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people. The brief event ended with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe congratulating the new emperor and leading the crowd with three shouts of "Banzai!," which means 10,000 years of long life.

More than one hundred foreign dignitaries were in attendance, including Britain's Prince Charles.

Naruhito officially began his reign on the Chrysanthemum Throne in May, when his 85-year-old father, Emperor Emeritus Akihito, officially abdicated after four decades, citing failing health. Akihito, who succeeded his father, World War Two-era Emperor Hirohito, was the first Japanese emperor to abdicate the throne in 200 years.

Emperor Naruhito's ascension comes in the wake of Typhoon Hagibis over a week ago, a massive storm that left 80 people dead.

A parade where Naruhito meets the public was delayed until November 10 out of respect for the victims.

Abe's government chose the name "Reiwa" for Emperor Naruhito's reign, which the prime minister explained as culture created by and nurtured by people who "beautifully care about each other."

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