TOKYO >> The Rikkoshi- Senmei-no-gi, a ceremony to name Crown Prince Fumihito first in line to succeed the Chrysanthemum Throne, was held at the Imperial Palace Sunday morning. Better known as Prince Akishino, Fumihito is the brother of Japan’s emperor, Naruhito.
“I (shall) think deeply on my duties as crown prince and fulfill them,” he pledged.
The rite is at the center of the Rikkoshi-no-rei, a state affair. It is the first time in the history of Japan’s constitutional government that a younger brother of the emperor, instead of a son, has been presented as the crown prince.
Naruhito has one child, Princess Aiko. Japan’s Imperial House Law allows only males to take the throne.
Clad in a traditional robe worn solely by the emperor, Naruhito said, “Today, I hereby perform the Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-gi ceremony for the proclamation of the crown prince.”
Other family in attendance included Empress Masako and Fumihito’s wife, Crown Princess Kiko; the crown prince’s daughters, princesses Mako and Kako; and Prince Hitachi, brother to former emperor Akihito, who abdicated last year.
“The people of Japan have a deep respect for (the crown price and princess), who meet people with kindness,” said Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who also attended the ceremony.
The ritual was postponed for seven months due to the coronavirus.