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Accession as the 125th Emperor of Japan

On January 7, 1989, upon the demise of Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa, His Majesty Emperor Akihito ascended to the throne as the 125th Emperor of Japan.

He inherited both the Imperial Regalia and the State and Privy Seals in the Ceremony for Inheriting the Imperial Regalia and Seals, which took place in the Matsu-no-Ma State Room of the Imperial Palace.

On January 9, 1989, in His Majesty’s First Audience after the Accession to the Throne, He addressed the people for the first time as their Emperor. “I pledge to observe the Constitution of Japan, together with all of you, and will carry out my duties in accordance with the Constitution. It is my sincere wish that Japan will continue to prosper, that peace will prevail around the world, and that the welfare of people everywhere will be promoted.”

The Ceremony of the Enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor took place on November 12, 1990, in which His Majesty proclaimed His enthronement in front of various representatives from Japan and the heads of state from 158 countries. “In accordance with the Constitution of Japan and the Imperial Household Law, I inherited the throne earlier. Today in this Ceremony of the Enthronement of the Emperor at the Seiden State Hall (Sokuirei-Seiden-no-gi), I proclaim myself the Emperor.” In this way, the new Emperor announced His enthronement to the people both in Japan and abroad.

On November 22 and 23, the newly-enthroned Emperor Akihito participated in the Great Thanksgiving Ceremony (Daijosai), in which the new Emperor offers new rice to the Imperial ancestors and the deities of heaven and earth for the first time, in the Yuki Hall and the Suki Hall, two identical chambers of Daijo-kyu, a temporary hall built for the ceremony. The Emperor also partook of the new rice Himself, giving thanks and praying for peace and abundant harvest for the country and the people.