National / Politics

Abe to meet 50 foreign guests visiting for Emperor Naruhito's enthronement ceremony

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold separate talks with about 50 foreign dignitaries when they attend a ceremony proclaiming the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito later this month, government sources said Wednesday.

Abe will meet the guests over four days from Oct. 21, with the exception of Oct. 22, when the enthronement will take place at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. He plans to meet more than 10 guests a day in what will be a marathon session of talks.

Among the guests are Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

South Korea plans to send Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon rather than President Moon Jae-in amid sharply deteriorating ties between the two countries over wartime history and trade policy.

Royal guests include the U.K.’s Prince Charles; the Netherland’s King Willem-Alexander and his wife, Queen Maxima; and Belgium’s King Philippe, along with his wife, Queen Mathilde.

The Foreign Ministry sent invitations to 194 of the 195 states recognized by Japan with the exception of Syria, as the regime of President Bashar Assad has come under international condemnation for inhumane acts.

The United Nations and the European Union were also invited.

Emperor Naruhito ascended to the chrysanthemum throne on May 1, the day after his father, Emperor Emeritus Akihito, became the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in over 200 years.

The upcoming ceremony will formally announce the new emperor’s enthronement before an audience of foreign and domestic leaders and representatives.

A total of 158 states and two international organizations attended Akihito’s enthronement ceremony in November 1990.

Then-Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu held separate talks with representatives from 58 states and one international agency, including then-U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle.

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