On behalf of Lij (prince) Teodrose Fikremariam and Ethiopians for Constitutional Monarchy, I congratulate Emperor Naruhito on his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1st 2019.  Forgotten by history except by those who have an admiration for the profound history of both the Japanese and Ethiopian empires, the two nations have an abiding connection that dates back to the early 20th century.

As Lij Teodrose wrote in the past, Japan and Ethiopia once forged such close ties during the early 1930’s that there were concrete steps being taken to codify the budding relationship between the two nations through a treaty and through marriage. Unfortunately, before the pact could be finalized, World War II interrupted normal and set the world on fire. Though war prevented the plans of Emperor Hirohito and Emperor Haile Selassie, the relationship between the two nations continued to strengthen.

Both Japan and Ethiopia have been served well by the system of monarchy. The same way Atse Tewodros II of Ethiopia united a fractious Ethiopia, Emperor Mutsuhito united a feudal Japan and transformed a hermit nation into a powerful empire. Likewise, the same way that Emperor Haile Selassie stitched together Ethiopia after World War II, Emperor Hirohito helped to mend his country after atomic bombs and firebombs incinerated Nagasaki, Hiroshima and the rest of Japan.

From the ashes of war arose Japan 2.0, a nation that is now an example of the world in terms of good governance, efficiency, work ethic and dedication to community above self. Japan is proof that a people can thrive if they think of the collective whole as much as they pursue individual goals. On this front, the Japanese crown has been instrumental in giving the island nation a sense of purpose and direction towards a common goal. There is a reason why we advocate for the restoration of the Ethiopian monarchy, Ethiopia has the same foundations to rise from anguish to greatness.

At this joyous occasion, I must also note that Japan and Ethiopia have a close ties that goes beyond government to government relationships. Ethiopian culture is revered in Japan, our dance (eskista), food and clothing is revered by millions of Japanese people. Likewise, in Ethiopia, the Japanese heritage has left a profound impact. Tilahun Gessesse, the golden voice of Ethiopia, once sang about his fondness of the Japanese culture in an ode titled Japanwan Wedije.

As Emperor Naruhito assumes the throne, we wish him and all Japanese people well and pray for their continued success. We ask all Ethiopians and admirers of Ethiopia to look to the east and follow the example of Japan as we work to restore the Ethiopian Monarchy within a constitutional framework. I believe that Ethiopia can one day be the Japan of Africa; we have all the resources and intellectual capital to transform our nation and ensure prosperity is shared by all.

As the Japanese say “起死回生, wake from death and return to life. Now is the time to turn away from the death of selfishness and return to the life of love.