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Japanese Emperor Naruhito ascends Chrysanthemum Throne
Associated Press MARI YAMAGUCHI Associated Press·October 22, 2019


TOKYO (AP) — Emperor Naruhito ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne on Tuesday, proclaiming himself Japan''''''''s 126th emperor as the audience shouted "banzai" to wish him a long and prosperous reign.
Naruhito pledged at an enthronement ceremony at the Imperial Palace to serve his constitutional duty as a symbol of the state and to stay close to the people, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe congratulated him and led three "banzai" cheers. The cheers traditionally means "ten thousand year" of long life.

周二,日本第126任天皇德仁登基,民众高呼“万岁”,一同恭祝他统治长久繁荣。德仁天皇在皇宫举行的登基仪式上宣誓,将履行宪法赋予他的国家象征职责,并与(日本)人民融在一起。日本首相安倍晋三(Shinzo Abe)向他表示祝贺,并率先高呼三声“万岁”。Cheers在日本民间的含义是“万岁“。

"I hearby proclaim to inside and outside of the country that I have enthroned," Naruhito said as he stood inside the Imperial Throne. "I hereby swear that I will act according to the constitution and fulfill my responsibility as the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people of Japan, while always praying for the happiness of the people and the peace of the world as I always stand with the people."

坐在天皇宝座上的德仁表示:“我在国内外都听到了我即位的消息。”“我在此宣誓,我将依照宪法,履行我作为国家和日本人民团结象征的责任, 我将一如既往地同人民站在一起,为人民的幸福和世界的和平而祈祷”。

Naruhito, in a formal brownish-orange robe that has been dyed in sappanwood and Japanese wax tree bark and a black headdress decorated with an upright tail, appeared as a pair of black-robed chamberlains opened the purple curtains of the throne at the sound of a bell.


The throne, called "Takamikura," is a 6.5-meter (21-foot) -high decorative structure resembling a gazebo or something at the Forbidden City in China. It was transported from the former Imperial Palace in Japan''''''''s ancient capital of Kyoto, where emperors lived until 150 years ago.


The enthronement ceremony is the high point of several succession rituals that began in May when Naruhito inherited the throne after the abdication of Akihito, his father. Naruhito is the 126th emperor in the world''''''''s oldest hereditary monarchy that historians say goes back 1,500 years.


The proclamation is largely meant to allow the government to showcase the monarchy to win public support and to preserve Japan''''''''s cultural heritage, historians say.


Despite the time, effort and cost put into preparations, the ceremony lasted only about 30 minutes.


The enthronement ceremony was originally modeled after one by the ancient Tang dynasty of China and the second of a three-part process following the May succession. Some experts have raised questions over the government''''''''s funding of 16 billion yen ($150 million) for ceremonies that contain religious rites.


Criticism was largely eclipsed by the festive mood, in part because Naruhito''''''''s succession was by abdication not by death, palace watchers said.


The pre-war custom of clemency by the emperor has triggered criticism as being undemocratic and politically motivated. At the time of former emperor Akihito''''''''s enthronement, 2.5 million people were given amnesty.
Earlier Tuesday, the 59-year-old emperor put on a white robe and prayed at "Kashikodokoro" and two other shrines. The visits Tuesday morning are to report to gods ahead of the ceremony, to be attended by 2,000 guests from in and outside Japan.


Enshrined at "Kashikodokoro" is the goddess Amaterasu, the mythological ancestress of Japan''''''''s emperors.


Later Tuesday, Naruhito and his wife Masako, a Harvard-educated former diplomat, will host a court banquet, to be attended by about 400 foreign dignitaries and representatives from Japan''''''''s administrative, legislative and judicial branches and their spouses.


A parade originally planned for Tuesday afternoon has been postponed until Nov. 10 due to a deadly typhoon that caused flooding and other damage in central and northern Japan.


Abe and his ultra-conservative supporters who want to keep paternalistic family values insist on male-only succession, while a majority of the general public support allowing female emperors.