TOKYO (Sputnik) - Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako first appeared before the people on Saturday three days after the enthronement, and the emperor addressed the people with a short speech for the first time.
"I am pleased to see you after assuming the throne and deeply thank you for your congratulations. I pray for your health and happiness, and also for our country, together with other countries, to strive for peace and achieve even greater prosperity," the emperor said.
Together with the imperial couple, 13 adult members of the imperial family, including the younger brother of the monarch, Prince Akishino, who is the first in line of succession for the Chrysanthemum Throne, and the emperor's uncle, 83-year-old Prince Hitachi, appeared on the glazed armored glass balcony of the Imperial Palace.
The live broadcast of the event was conducted by the NHK broadcaster.
On Wednesday, Naruhito succeeded to the Chrysanthemum Throne, the throne of the Emperor of Japan, and pledged to stand with Japanese people. His father, 85-year-old Emperor Akihito, abdicated the previous day, becoming the first Japanese monarch to do so in over 200 years. Prince Naruhito's ascension marks the end of the Heisei era and the beginning of the Reiwa era which means "beautiful harmony."