Tokyo: President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday attended the enthronement ceremony of Japan’s new Emperor Naruhito who completed his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne after his father’s abdication earlier this year.
The 30-minute ceremony in the Imperial Palace — featuring elements of ancient protocol which was immersed in the traditions and glory of a monarchy that claims 2,000 years of history — was attended by roughly 2,000 guests, including dignitaries from about 190 countries and international organisations.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a statement that Kovind, who arrived here on Monday in the final leg of his two-nation visit to the Philippines and Japan, attended the enthronement ceremony of the Emperor Naruhito.
This is the first presidential visit to Japan from India after a gap of 29 years. The last presidential visit was in 1990 when the then president, R Venkatraman, attended the enthronement ceremonies of Emperor Emeritus Akihoto, the father of Naruhito.
The enthronement ceremony of 59-year-old Emperor Naruhito’s ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne marks the high point of succession rituals that began in May and will last through the spring.
The ceremony allows Naruhito to proclaim himself Japan’s 126th emperor in a ritual dating back to the 7th century.
Japan’s Kyodo news agency said that security was tight with up to 26,000 police officers mobilised from across the country for the enthronement ceremony.
Emperor Naruhito, who also studied at Britain’s University of Oxford and is the first Japanese monarch to have studied abroad, succeeded to the throne on May 1, the day after his 85-year-old father, former Emperor Akihito, stepped down.
The former emperor became the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in about 200 years due to concerns over his advanced age and weakening health. Tuesday’s ceremony was one of the highlights in a series of rituals accompanying the imperial succession.