National Festival Held for Japan Emperor's Enthronement

Society

Tokyo, Nov. 9 (Jiji Press)--Japanese people celebrated new Emperor Naruhito's accession to the throne in a national festival organized on Saturday by three bodies including a private-sector committee, at the square in front of the Imperial Palace and other locations in Tokyo on the eve of his enthronement parade.

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako appeared on a stone bridge at the Main Gate of the palace during a celebration ceremony held in the second part of the festival in the evening. As many as 30,000 people gathered for the ceremony, according to the organizers.

"Together with the people, I again offer my congratulations for His Majesty's enthronement," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a speech.

"Ray of Water," a congratulatory song composed for the day's event was then performed by an orchestra with pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii. Popular boy band Arashi joined in the singing part of the song. The performance brought tears to the Empress' eyes.

The Emperor, who assumed the throne on May 1, then said, "I've spent about half a year from my enthronement with joy over the thoughts presented by many people."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press