• Kyodo


Leaders around the world have offered congratulations to Emperor Naruhito, who ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne on Wednesday a day after his father, Emperor Emeritus Akihito, abdicated.

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump sent their “profound congratulations.”

“We will renew the strong bonds of friendship between our two countries,” Trump said in a statement that referred to Japan’s new imperial era of Reiwa, which the accession ushered in.

“Reiwa means ‘beautiful harmony,’ and it is our sincere wish that our alliance continue to flourish and deepen in this spirit,” Trump said.

The Trumps are set to be the first state guests welcomed by Emperor Naruhito, when they visit Japan on May 25-28.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a message of celebration that he expects Emperor Naruhito to continue to walk toward peace as his father did, according to the foreign ministry.

He also asked the new emperor to pay much attention to developing affectionate ties between the two countries, which have been strained by actions during Japan’s wartime past.

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory telegram in which he said both countries “have a long history of friendly exchanges.”

“The two sides should work together to promote peaceful development and create a bright future for bilateral relations,” Xi wrote in the telegram, according to Chinese media.

Xi also sent a message and expressed his greetings and wishes to Emperor Naruhito’s father on the occasion of his abdication Tuesday, media outlets reported.

In a letter dated Wednesday, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong extended his “warmest congratulations on Your Majesty’s accession to the throne,” according to the city-state’s foreign ministry.

“As we celebrate the auspicious dawn of your reign, I am confident that the relations between our two countries will reach even greater heights. May the Japanese people achieve their aspirations of peace and unity in the new Reiwa era,” he wrote.

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