When Prince Hisahito, Japan's youngest prince, visited Bhutan in August on his first overseas trip, just months after his uncle, Emperor Naruhito, ascended to the throne, the visit was regarded as the debut of a future monarch on the world stage.

Greeting his hosts in traditional hakama kimono and trying his hand at archery, the trip offered rare public exposure for the boy on whose shoulders the future of the monarchy rests.

Emperor Naruhito, 59, who became monarch on May 1 following the abdication of his father, now Emperor Emeritus Akihito, proclaimed his enthronement Tuesday before dignitaries from Japan and overseas.