President joins Japanese Emperor’s enthronement ceremony

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Desk report, October 22: President M Abdul Hamid on Tuesday attended Japanese new Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement ceremony where the emperor proclaimed his ascension to the throne as Japan’s 126th monarch in front of leaders and representatives from 174 countries and regions at the Imperial Palace in Japan.The ceremony at the Seiden State Hall started at 1 pm (local time, as the emperor announced his enthronement from the 6.5-meter-high canopied throne, known as the takamikura, BSS reports.

President Hamid’s spouse Rashida Khanam and Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan Rabab Fatima accompanied the Head of the State at the main part of the ceremony.

Dressed in white-coloured pajama (trouser) and panjabi (long shirt) with black court, the president entered the programme venue at 12:33 pm (local time).

Today’s ceremony is most important among a series of enthronement-related functions that started in May this year.

The 59-year-old Emperor Naruhito ascended to the chrysanthemum throne on May 1, following the abdication of his 85-year-old father Emperor Emeritus Akihito.

Akihito was the first to be enthroned as the symbol of “the state and of the unity of the people” under the postwar constitution, said a foreign ministry spokesman.

He said the Emperor’s enthronement ceremony (Sokurei-Seiden-no-gi) represented the Japan’s over 1000 years old tradition, and at the same time, it was closely watched by the people around the world as the beginning of a new era led by a new generation of the imperial family.

On the occasion, the Emperor wore a dark orange robe called “Korozen no goho”, the design of which dates back to the ninth century and is only worn by emperors for special ceremonies. Here the color of the robe is meant to mimic the color of the rising sun.

Empress Masako also put on a layered court kimono dress during the ceremony.

In his proclamation during the ceremony, new Japanese Emperor pledged to fulfill his responsibility to the country’s constitution as the symbol of “the state and of the unity of the people of Japan”.

The emperor wished for the happiness of the people as well as the peace of the world and pledged to stand by them.

“Our country, through our people’s wisdom and unceasing efforts, achieves further development and contribute to the friendship and peace of the international community and the welfare and prosperity of humankind,” he hoped.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered a congratulatory message from the floor of the Pine Chamber (Matsu-no-Ma) state room and led guests in three banzai cheers wishing for the emperor’s longevity.

Prior to today’s main function, Naruhito began the day’s ceremonies shortly afterward by reporting his enthronement to his imperial ancestors at one of three shrines on the palace grounds, dressed in a black headdress and pure white robes with a long train borne by an attendant, the spokesman added.

Two of the three items of imperial regalia – the imperial sword and jewel – which the emperor inherited in May as proof of his ascension to the throne, was presented at the ceremony along with the state and privy seals.

President Hamid, who is on an eight-day official visit to Japan and Singapore, is scheduled to attend the banquet to be hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Hotel New Otani this evening.

On his way back home, the President will make a two-day stopover in Singapore.

On the second leg of his two-nation tour, the President will visit Singapore from Oct 25-27.

The President is scheduled to return home at 11:40 pm on October 27.