TOKYO-Emperor Naruhito of Japan has vowed to fulfill his duties as a symbol of the state and officially announced his accession to the throne. The enthronement ceremony, which dates back centuries, was held on Tuesday in the presence of heads of state and other dignitaries from more than 180 countries.
“I swear that I will act by the Constitution and serve as a symbol of the state and unity of the people of Japan,” he announced in the presence of about two thousand participants in the ceremony.
“I sincerely hope that Japan will develop further and contribute to the friendship and peace of the international community, to the well – being and prosperity of mankind through the wisdom and tireless efforts of the people,” he said.
Naruhito, 59, became Emperor in May after his father abdicated.
Naruhito’s grandfather, Emperor Hirohito, in whose name Japanese troops fought in World War II, was considered a deity but renounced his divine status after Japan’s defeat in 1945.
Today, Japanese emperors have no political power.