Japan’s new emperor ascends to throne

The new emperor, Naruhito, delivered an address after his accession to the throne at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Wednesday.CreditCreditPool photo

Japan’s new emperor, Naruhito, formally took the Chrysanthemum Throne on Wednesday, a day after his 85-year-old father, Akihito, became the first Japanese emperor to abdicate since 1817.

Naruhito, 59, said he felt a “sense of solemnity” as a brief ceremony in which he received sacred imperial regalia formally marked his ascension to the throne.

Naruhito is the first emperor born after World War II.

He is expected to continue his father’s focus on atonement and humanizing the world’s oldest monarchy in a country where the emperor was long seen as a living god. “I sincerely hope for the happiness of the people and further progress of the country, and for world peace,”Emperor Naruhito said.

Japan’s emperor is an important national symbol but holds no political power.

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