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Ceremony proclaims Japan’s Crown Prince Akishino as first in line for throne

The Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-gi, the main ceremony to proclaim Crown Prince Akishino’s rise to first in line to the throne, was held at the Imperial Palace on Sunday morning.

“I want to think deeply about my duties as crown prince and fulfill them,” he pledged at the ceremony.

The Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-gi is the main ceremony of the Rikkoshi-no-rei, a state affair based on the Constitution. It is the first time in the history of Japan’s constitutional politics that a younger brother of the Emperor, instead of a son, has been publicly presented as the crown prince.

The ceremony began at about 11 a.m. in the Matsu-no-Ma state room of the palace. It was attended by the Emperor and Empress; Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko; Princess Mako and Princess Kako, daughters of Crown Prince Akishino; and Prince Hitachi.

Crown Prince Akishino speaks in front of the Emperor and Empress during the the Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-gi ceremony at the Imperial Palace on Sunday. (Pool photo / Jiji Press)

There were also another 46 people present, including Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the heads of the three branches of government and the heads of diplomatic missions.

Clad in his Korozen-no-Goho raiment, the Emperor said, “Today, I hereby perform the Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-gi ceremony for the proclamation of the crown prince, in accordance with the Imperial Household Law, and proclaim to those at home and abroad that Prince Akishino is crown prince.”

Crown Prince Akishino, dressed in the Oni-no-Ho garb of successive crown princes, expressed his determination.

After that, Suga expressed his congratulations on behalf of the people.

“The people of Japan have a deep respect for their Imperial Highnesses [Crown Prince and Crown Princess Akishino], who meet people on an intimate footing. It is a great pleasure that the Rikkokshi-no-rei is being held in this manner,” the prime minister said.

The government initially planned to hold the ceremony on April 19, but postponed it due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. As measures against infection, the number of participants at the ceremony was drastically reduced from the original of about 350 people, and the participants were also separated by about 1.5 meters.

Everyone except the Emperor and Empress, Crown Prince and Crown Princess Akishino, and Suga wore masks. Doors and shoji paper sliding doors were also opened to ventilate the Matsu-no-Ma well.

Published : November 09, 2020

By : The Yomiuri Shimbun & The Japan News Asia News Network