Japan's Naruhito to proclaim himself emperor at palace rite

FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2019, file photo, Japanese Emperor Naruhito, accompanied by Empress Masako, walks to deliver his remarks during a memorial cer...
FILE - In this May 27, 2019, file photo released by Imperial Household Agency of Japan, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, talks with Japan's Emperor ...
FILE - In this Nov. 12, 1990, file photo, then Japan's Emperor Akihito, center, waves as then Empress Michiko smiles as they start an open car parade ...

FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2019, file photo, Japanese Emperor Naruhito, accompanied by Empress Masako, walks to deliver his remarks during a memorial cer...

FILE - In this May 27, 2019, file photo released by Imperial Household Agency of Japan, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, talks with Japan's Emperor ...

FILE - In this Nov. 12, 1990, file photo, then Japan's Emperor Akihito, center, waves as then Empress Michiko smiles as they start an open car parade ...

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's Emperor Naruhito is visiting three Shinto shrines at the Imperial Palace before proclaiming himself Japan's emperor in an enthronement ceremony.

The 59-year-old emperor put on a white robe and prayed at "Kashikodokoro" and two other shrines. The visits Tuesday morning are to report to gods ahead of the ceremony, to be attended by 2,000 guests from in and outside Japan.

The enthronement ceremony the high point of succession rituals that began in May when Naruhito succeeded the Chrysanthemum Throne as Japan's 126th emperor after the abdication of his father, Akihito.

The proclamation is largely meant to allow the government to showcase the monarchy to win public support and to preserve Japan's cultural heritage.

Naruhito and his wife Masako, a Harvard-educated former diplomat, will host a banquet later Tuesday.