TOKYO Ė The enthronement ceremony of Crown Prince Naruhito as Japanís next emperor will be held on Oct. 22, 2019, six months after the abdication of his father, Emperor Akihito, the Japanese government announced on Friday.
Prior to the official enthronement ceremony, Crown Prince Naruhito, 59, will succeed to the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1, 2019, one day after Akihitoís abdication, in an intimate and closed-door ritual, according to the governmentís spokesperson, Yoshihide Suga.
The October ceremony will be held at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo in front of thousands of guests and delegations from around the world. It is expected to be similar to that of Emperor Akihito, held on Nov. 12, 1990, which was attended by 2,500 guests, including 157 dignitaries from around the world.
On that occasion, the solemn enthronement lasted 30 minutes under the same rituals that have been practiced in the Japanese Imperial House for over a thousand years.
The current emperor ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne after more than a year mourning his father, Emperor Hirohitoís death, who had reigned for 63 years since 1928.
The 125th emperor of Japan, Akihito expressed his desire to abdicate in an unusual televised message in August 2016, citing his age and ailing health.