Delivering his first speech since ascending to the Chrysanthemum Throne, Japan’s new emperor vowed May 1 to “act according to the Constitution” and fulfill his role as the symbol of the state while emulating his father by “always turning my thoughts to the people.”
“In acceding to the throne, I swear that I will reflect deeply on the course followed by His Majesty the Emperor Emeritus and bear in mind the path trodden by past emperors, and will devote myself to self-improvement,” Emperor Naruhito said in the brief speech before the heads of the government, legislature and judiciary in a ceremony attended by imperial family members and other government officials.
“I sincerely pray for the happiness of the people and the further development of the nation as well as the peace of the world,” he said.
The address, broadcast live on TV, was Emperor Naruhito’s first to the nation since taking the throne at midnight April 30 following the abdication of his father, Akihito, now referred to as the Emperor Emeritus.
Born after World War II, the 59-year-old is now the “symbol” of the state. Under Japan’s postwar Constitution, the emperor is barred from exercising political power.
The abdication put an end to the 30-year run of the Heisei imperial era and ushered in the new Reiwa Era. (The Japan Times)