Hon. Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Saint Kitts and Nevis joined leaders and representatives from over 180 countries at the Ceremony of Enthronement and related activities for 112th royal leader of Japan Emperor, Naruhito, in Tokyo, Japan over the past two days.
The ceremony, steeped in rituals and history, was attended by hundreds of dignitaries, including Prince Charles of Great Britain, and other members of royal families from across Europe, Asia and Africa.
“I now perform the Ceremony of Enthronement at the Seiden State Hall and proclaim my enthronement to those at home and abroad,” Emperor Naruhito, who had previously acceded to the throne in May following the abdication of his father, Emperor Emeritus Akihito, declared at the ceremony.
Following the declaration, Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe delivered a brief response and led guests in three cheers (Banzai salute) before Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako exited the royal throne, which dates more than 1000 years.
A court banquet at the Tokyo Imperial Palace held later that evening allowed Heads of State, royal family members and other invited guests to personally congratulate the imperial couple for about one hour.
Minister Brantley conveyed greetings to the new emperor from His Excellency Sir Tapley Seaton, Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis; and Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris, Prime Minister. He also used the opportunity to engage other dignitaries, including Prince Charles and Elaine Chao, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, as well as regional leaders from the Caribbean during the court banquet.
Guests were also allowed to the see the Emperor’s throne before sitting down to a nine course Japanese style dinner.
At a state dinner held at the Hotel New Otani in Central Tokyo for foreign dignitaries who had attended the enthronement ceremony the previous day, the host, the Prime Minister of Japan, pledged that nation will make even further contributions to the international community, and welcomed everyone back to Japan for the 2020 Olympics and the 2025 Expo.
Guests were also treated to a performance by leading Japanese actors in the traditional arts and culture of Japan – Kyogen, Kabuki and Bunraku.
Minister Brantley was accompanied by Her Excellency Jasmine E. Huggins, St. Kitts and Nevis’ non-resident Ambassador to Japan.