Post by MadameConcorde on May 2, 2019 7:44:00 GMT -5
New Emperor swears to fulfill responsibility as symbol of the state
Japan's new Emperor has begun his reign now that his father has abdicated. The Emperor made his first official address in his new role.
The 126th Emperor of Japan attended a ceremony on Wednesday morning at the Imperial Palace, where he made a speech in his new role.
"I have hereby succeeded to the throne pursuant to the Constitution of Japan and the Special Measures Law on the Imperial House Law. When I think about the important responsibility I have assumed, I am filled with a sense of solemnity. ... Emperor Naruhito is 59 years old and was born on February 23, 1960. He is the first Emperor born after World War Two.
This is Japan's first imperial succession from a living Emperor in more than 200 years. For the first time in Japan's modern history, it has both a reigning and an abdicated Emperor at the same time.
The Imperial Palace grounds will be open to the public on May 4th to celebrate the enthronement. Throughout the day, the Emperor and Empress will appear on the palace balcony to greet well-wishers. The Emperor will deliver a speech to the people of Japan.
Post by MadameConcorde on May 2, 2019 7:47:53 GMT -5
Masako Owada: The woman who just became Japan’s new empress
Two young women, born just a couple of years apart on opposite sides of the world, found themselves in equally daunting positions when they married the heir to the throne in their respective countries: Diana Spencer (born 1961), married Charles, Prince of Wales of the United Kingdom in 1981, while Masako Owada (born 1963) followed suit on June 9, 1993, upon her wedding to Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan.
In each case, it seemed like the entire country was desperate for the heir to the throne to “settle down,” as both princes were in their early 30s, and there was considerable pressure to find a bride. It had to be a woman of good background with an impeccable reputation, and it certainly wouldn’t hurt if she was photogenic, too. ... From an established career to life as a princess
Masako Owada was a global citizen before she even reached school, having lived in Russia and New York as a preschooler during her father’s diplomatic postings. After some years back in Japan, the Owada family returned to the USA when Masako was in her second year of high school. An excellent student, she majored in economics at Harvard and then went on to Tokyo University for graduate studies. In 1986, she became one of a handful of women to pass the prestigious Ministry of Foreign Affairs entrance exam.
Masako first met Prince Naruhito the same year, and it is said he was immediately taken with her intelligence and manner. However, although there was some media interest surrounding Masako as a potential royal bride, she was determined to focus on her budding career. She was selected for a posting to England, where she studied for a degree in international relations at Oxford. The Prince had not forgotten about Masako, however, and after she returned to Japan several years later, the Imperial Household Agency began to set up carefully orchestrated meetings between the two. The prince politely but persistently pursued the topic of marriage, and although she turned down his proposals several times, Masako was eventually won over and agreed to marry him in December of 1992. Their engagement was announced the following January.