İrem UZUN -TDO- On Tuesday, Japan’s Emperor Naruhito formally proclaimed his enthronement in front of royals and leaders from around the world, completing his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne as the nation’s 216th emperor. Naruhito became emperor and his wife Masako became empress on May 1 in a brief ceremony, but Tuesday's 'Sokui no Rei' (Ceremony of Accession) was a more elaborate ritual at the royal palace in which he officially announced his change in status to the world. 'I swear that I will act according to the constitution and fulfil my responsibility as the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people,' the 59-year-old emperor declared in front of about 2,000 guests, including Britain's Prince Charles. “I pledge hereby that I shall 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 wishing for the happiness of the people and the peace of the world, turning my thoughts to the people and standing by them,” he said, underlining the emperor’s role within the country’s supreme law.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offered congratulations in response to the emperor’s speech, saying, “We, the people, look up to His Majesty the Emperor as the symbol of Japan and the unity of its people, and, with a renewed spirit, will put our best efforts into creating an era where new culture will flourish as a peaceful, hopeful and proud.”
In order to mark the formal ascension of Naruhito to the Chrysanthemum throne, Japanese government has announced that more than half a million people convicted of minor offenses such as traffic violations will be pardoned as part of the events.