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The Latest: Naruhito congratulated by other royal members

TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Emperor Naruhito's succession (all times local): 4:30 p.m. Newly enthroned Emperor Naruhito received greetings from his relatives at a palace ceremony Wednesday. Naruhito, wearing a tuxedo and accompanied by Empress Masako in a white long dress, received congratulatory greetings from his younger brother Fumihito, who is now crown prince, and 11 other adult members of the royal family.

The ceremony was held at the palace's "Pine room." Naruhito, 59, succeeded his 85-year-old father, now known as Emperor Emeritus Akihito. Earlier Wednesday, Naruhito pledged to follow his father's footsteps in pursuing peace and staying close to the people.

3 p.m.

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!"

1:30 p.m.

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. The official Xinhua news agency reported Xi said China and Japan should work together to promote peace and development and bilateral ties.

11:30 a.m.

Emperor Naruhito has vowed to fulfill his duty as a symbol of state and people as defined under Japan's Constitution in his first address.

Naruhito announced his succession to the Chrysanthemum Throne in the address Wednesday a day after his father abdicated.

He said he will keep in mind his father's devotion to peace and stay close to the people. Naruhito also said he feels solemn as thinks of the heavy weight of his responsibility.

Akihito abdicated Tuesday after reigning for three decades. He is now known as emperor emeritus.

10:30 a.m.

Japan's new Emperor Naruhito has inherited the Imperial regalia of sword and jewel and seals as proof of succession in his first official duty as emperor.

Naruhito succeeded the Chrysanthemum Throne after his father's abdication Tuesday.

Naruhito is to make his first address later in Wednesday's ceremony.

His wife, Empress Masako, a Harvard-educated former diplomat, and their daughter Princess Aiko, are barred from the first ceremony, where only adult male royals can participate.

The emperor under Japan's constitution is a symbol without political power. Naruhito has promised to emulate his father in seeking peace and staying close to people.

9:20 a.m.

Japan's new Emperor Naruhito will perform his first ritual hours after succeeding his father on the Chrysanthemum Throne.

Naruhito will receive the Imperial regalia of sword and jewel as proof of succession at the ceremony Wednesday and later will make his first address.

His wife, Empress Masako, a Harvard-educated former diplomat, and their daughter Princess Aiko, are barred from the first ceremony, where only adult male royals can participate.

Akihito now holds the title of emperor emeritus after becoming Japan's first emperor to abdicate in 200 years.

The emperor under Japan's constitution is a symbol without political power. Naruhito has promised to emulate his father in seeking peace and staying close to people.

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