Japan's Emperor Naruhito takes the throne

STR / JAPAN POOL / AFP

Japanese Emperor Naruhito has formally taken up his post, a day after the abdication of his father.

In his first address, he said he felt a "sense of solemnity" and pledged to work as a symbol of the nation and the unity of its people.

The 59-year-old's ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne was formalised in a mid-morning ceremony on Wednesday, the first part of which his wife and other royal women were unable to attend.

"I pledge that I will always think of the people, and while drawing close to them, fulfil my duties as a symbol of the Japanese state and the unity of the Japanese people in accordance with the constitution," Naruhito said.

"I sincerely hope for the happiness of the people and further progress of the country, and for world peace."

Former Emperor Akihito stepped down on Tuesday in a brief, simple ceremony.

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