Japanese couples mark new imperial era with weddings
TOKYO — Japanese couples are lining up at government offices to submit their marriage documents to mark the beginning of Emperor Naruhito’s era.
At the Chiyoda ward office near the palace in Tokyo, dozens of couples from around the country submitted their papers. Naruhito in his first public address Wednesday vowed to devote himself to peace and share the people’s joys and sorrows.
Couples took photos at a special booth decorated with the era name Reiwa, or “beautiful harmony,” for memorabilia. The ward office was open despite a national holiday Wednesday.
Natsumi Nishimura and Keigo Mori said they decided to tie the knot at the start of a new era to mark their new life together on a special, unforgettable day.
Lining up for the photo booth were another couple, apparel buyer Ryo Hayasaka and Haruka Miyajima, a retail industry worker. Chiyoda is a memorable place for them because they met while working in the same company nearby.
While smiling about her document submission, Miyajima said, “I feel cheerful and also excited! I am happy that I can get married during a time when a new era begins!”
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has congratulated Emperor Naruhito and pledged his respect to him on the day he ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne.
The 59-year-old Naruhito succeeded his father, who is now known as Emperor Emeritus Akihito after his abdication on Tuesday.
Abe on Wednesday pledged to create a “bright future” during the new era that is peaceful and full of hope.
Naruhito also received messages from President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping.
Trump’s message said America and Japan will renew the bonds of friendship in the new era while Xinhua news agency reported Xi said China and Japan should work together to promote peace and development and bilateral ties. /kga
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