Naruhito: Japan’s new emperor pledges to be symbol of unity


Tokyo : Japan’s Emperor Naruhito has pledged to fulfil his role as a “symbol of the state and unity”, in his first public address since taking the throne.

The 59-year-old was speaking as he officially began his reign on Wednesday in a short but symbolic ceremony at the Imperial Palace.

Naruhito succeeds his father, 85-year-old Akihito, who abdicated citing his age and failing health.

He is the first Japanese emperor to stand down in more than 200 years.