President Alvi attends Japanese emperor enthronement ritual
TOKYO (92 News/Reuters) – Japanese Emperor Naruhito began ceremonies to formally proclaim his enthronement on Tuesday in a centuries-old ritual attended by President Arif Alvi among dignitaries from more than 180 countries.
Japanese Emperor Naruhito is the 126th king of Japan. Naruhito, 59, and his Harvard-educated wife Empress Masako, 55, took over in May in a brief, tradition-filled ceremony but Tuesday’s “Sokui no Rei” is a more elaborate ritual in which he officially announces his change in status to the world.
For the main ceremony, Naruhito will wear a traditional burnt-orange robe and headdress, as his father did nearly three decades ago. It will start at 1:00pm (0400 GMT) at the Imperial Palace’s Matsu no ma, or Hall of Pine, the most prestigious space in the palace.
He will declare his enthronement from the “Takamikura” – a 6.5 meter (21 feet) high pavilion that weighs about 8 tonnes – with an ancient sword and a jewel, two of the so-called Three Sacred Treasures, placed beside him.
Together with a mirror called Yata-no-Kagami, which is kept at the Ise Grand Shrine, the holiest site in Japan’s Shinto religion, the three treasures comprise the regalia that symbolizes the legitimacy of the emperor.
Masako will also take part in the ceremony, gaining her own throne while wearing 12-layered robes and an elaborate hairstyle.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to deliver a congratulatory speech before guests including Britain’s Prince Charles, who with then-wife Princess Diana attended Akihito’s enthronement, as well as US Transport Secretary Elaine Chao. Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi is also expected to take part.
Earlier, President Arif Alvi has arrived in Japan on a five-day visit to attend the Enthronement Ceremony of Emperor Naruhito. The president is undertaking the visit on the invitation of the Japanese government. During the visit, President Arif Alvi will meet the Japanese political leadership and interact with representatives of important Japanese companies having investment in Pakistan.
Pakistan and Japan are long-standing friends and partners. Japan is among the major foreign investors in Pakistan and a significant export destination for Pakistani products.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan-Japan cooperative ties have been on an upward trajectory, with a huge potential for further collaboration in myriad fields such as economic, trade, commercial, investment, IT, agriculture, human resource development and tourism.
Apart from being a key economic partner of Pakistan, Japan has made important contributions in supporting the country’s socio-economic development efforts over the years.