President Uhuru Kenyatta joined the over 170 world leaders who witnessed the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito on Tuesday, October 22, in an event full of Japanese culture.
The President was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta to the historic ceremony held at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan.
The enthronement of the new emperor is the climax of a long and detailed succession process that started on May 1 this year, when Emperor Naruhito took over the throne from his father and predecessor Emperor Akihito, who relinquished the position he held for close to 30 years.
Emperor Naruhito, 59, pledged to uphold the Japanese Constitution in fulfilling his responsibility as the symbol of State and of the unity of the people of Japan, press statement by PSCU said.
“I sincerely hope that our country, through our people’s wisdom and unceasing efforts, achieves further development and contributes to the friendship and peace of the international community,” he said.
Kenya and Japan have enjoyed close relations, with Nairobi being selected to the first host of the Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development in Africa and outside Japan in 2016.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta during the Enthronement of Emperor Naruhitoo at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo PHOTO/ PSCU
Ahead of the event Kenya’s Ambassador to Japan SK Maina said President Kenyatta’s invitation was not only a show of high respect for him but also a clear testament of the solid relationship between Kenya and Japan.
“The presence of His Excellency the President and Her Excellency the First Lady at this very important ceremony for Japan is a reflection of the time-tested relationship between Kenya and Japan that has grown stronger over the years,” Ambassador Maina said.
“Kenya is the leading development partner of Japan in Africa and over the years, the Asian economic giant has supported Kenya’s development agenda with investments in renewable energy, infrastructure, water, health, education and technology transfer among other sectors,” State House said.
“Japan has been one of Kenya’s outstanding partners in the development of geothermal power resources especially the Olkaria complex in Naivasha, a project that has earned the country international recognition as an African leader in renewable energy development.”
The ceremony was attended by royals from across the world among them King Philippe (Belgium), King Willem-Alexander (The Netherlands), King Felipe VI (Spain), King Carl XVI (Sweden), Sheikh Tamim (Amir of Qatar) and King Mswati III (Eswatini).
Also present were Prince Charles (The Prince of Wales, UK) as well as Presidents Alassane Ouattara (Cote d’Ivoire), Mahamadou Issoufou (Niger), Patrice Talon (Benin), Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé (Togo) and Jorge Carlos Fonseca (Cape Verde).