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Bill Taylor Expected to Testify; Trailer for Next "Star Wars" Installment Debuts; Japan's Emperor Proclaims His Enthronement. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired October 22, 2019 - 01:00   ET



JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: -- very bitter and very nasty campaign to be leading a minority government. And just like it was 1,200 years ago, the coronation of the 126th Emperor of Japan.

In Northern Syria, the Kurds are bracing for the end of a ceasefire just hours from now. And that is when the Turks are expected to resume their military offensive. And as the U.S. troops were leaving the region, they were pelted by rotten fruit and vegetables, all from Kurds who are bitter, and angered, and terrified of being abandoned by that one time ally.

Turkey says it will relaunch its offensive if the Kurdish led Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurds, do not leave a so-called safe zone. And now with the U.S. no longer there as protection, the Kurds have found some support from the Russian backed Syrian government. That apparent alliance will be a topic no doubt when Russian President Vladimir Putin hosts the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi in just a few hours.

Meantime, the U.S. President defending his Syria strategy. Donald Trump says some troops, some U.S. troops may stay behind to guard the oil.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Where's the agreement that said we have to say in the Middle East for the rest of humanity, for the rest of civilization to protect -- the Kurds have never said that. And we have protected them. We've taken very good care of them.


VAUSE: The Kurds face an uncertain future as those U.S. forces drawdown. It's not clear if Turkey or the rebel allies say they back will honor this so-called safe zone. It's not clear what the Russia and the Syrian governments have planned as well. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has more now reporting from northern Syria.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They really didn't want to go but had to all same. Hundreds of U.S. vehicles rallying here near Hasakah Sunday before they drive north. Borders from thousands of miles away given without warning made this message an elite troops would have it.

This campaign cut so abruptly short so perilously, and this exit frankly so hasty, a messy job for any military to have to undertake. And this is where the mess of U.S. policy towards serious Kurds will have to be cleaned up.

1,000 men left out on their own here once President Trump dropped the Syrian Kurds mostly headed for the exit. The amount of convoy woke us in the city of Qamishli, a misperception Syrian Kurds aware these troops didn't choose to leave.

But having no other Americans to vent their rage at, movements and aerial support carried on until dawn. The convoy rolled through deserts out into neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan, not on their way home but to reposition where they would have to continue to fight against in Syria as it regrouped, from a much worse position.

It's the enduring fault of this policy move, ISIS isn't finished and nobody's really coming home. In this Qamishli hospital, Sarah, hasn't gone home yet either. She doesn't know yet but her brother Mohammed died in the same mortar attack allegedly by pro-Turkish forces that also took her leg.

She can look at a missing limb without screaming and tells those around her to stop standing up. Her mother Nariman blamed herself for not leaving town earlier.

My heart is in pain, she says. They took the light from my eyes. The candle in my life is out forever. What was our guilt? What did we do for this?

There is global anguish over the fate of Syrian Kurds and Sarah's plight has been well-publicized. But they and she is still here. Nobody has come to help yet. She has toys a plenty but a future the shape of which she cannot feel yet. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN Qamishli Northern Syria.


VAUSE: With us now from Cambridge, Massachusetts is David Sanger, CNN Political and National Security Analyst, National Security Correspondent for The New York Times as well. David, thanks for being with us.


VAUSE: OK, well, the President, he was very blunt on Monday about what he believes the Syrian Kurds are owed and what they're not owed. Here he is.


TRUMP: We have a small group there, and we've secured the oil. Other than that, there's no reason for it, in our opinion. And, again, the Kurds are going to be watching it. We're working with the Kurds. We have good relationship with the Kurds but we never agreed to, you know, protect the Kurds.

We support with them for three and a half, four years. We never agreed to protect the Kurds for the rest of their lives.


VAUSE: So in other words, next time they should what, get it in writing? Technically though, he is right. There wasn't an official agreement but this also seems how Donald Trump ran his businesses in a way. It's -- you know, there was no regard for morals or ethics or you what was right what was wrong, at least in times. Some cases he would use the letter of the law and the courts, you know, to avoid and delay, you know, making good on payments in a way. So, you know, this is just Donald Trump being Donald Trump.


SANGER: Well, it may be and certainly if you talk to people who work with him in the real estate business, and some who worked with him in the first two and a half years in his presidency, they'll tell you that loyalty runs in one direction. It wouldn't be the first White House that happened to.

But if you parse his statement a bit, John, there's some interesting elements in it. So first of all, he makes it sound as if this protection of the Kurds is a one-way street. Well, the Kurds were doing a lot of work for the U.S.

They were doing a lot of the fighting out there. They were guarding the ISIS camps, not a small task. They were holding this part of Syria, which, while a relatively small slice is a significant slice of the population, and kept the Russians and the Iranians from exercising influence (AUDIO GAP).

And then lastly what's being referred to we're protecting the oil. Well, he's referring to oil fields that did support British operations and so forth. But, interestingly, that's a higher priority for him then say making good on our alliance, keeping out the Russians and the Iranians.

VAUSE: Well, America is setting a standard for the world to follow which one see when it came to doing the right thing. The President also said in that statement, the Kurds are very happy and they continuing to work with the United States. That doesn't seem entirely clear right now. But here's how the Kurds farewelled (ph) some U.S. soldiers in northern Syria on Monday.

They're pelted with vegetables and rotten fruit. You know, obviously, they're not happy, some are angry, and many are terrified. And this is kind of like Yankee go home. SANGER: Well, it's worse than Yankee go home in many ways because these are people who feel betrayed. The Americans here were invited. There was a mutually beneficial relationship, which the President just terminated two weeks ago in the conversation with President Erdogan of Turkey.

So I think this is the rotten vegetables of betrayal. And it can't feel any better for the American troops there who have built up relationships with these Kurdish forces feel about them that they're their allies, and now have been ordered to abandon them.

VAUSE: And the President has been made perfectly that you know, he believes the troops drawdown was not only a key election promise, he said that again on Monday. But he also added this a personal note about, you know, the toll I guess sort of taking on him that you know, the fatalities of U.S. servicemen and women.


SANGER: It would be much easier for me to let our soldiers be there, let them continue to die. I go out to Dover and I have -- I make parents -- it's not a pleasant thing. It's the most unpleasant thing I do, most unpleasant thing I do when I see that big cargo plane open and I see those coffins get rolled off.

I send many letters home to parents their son or daughter has been killed over in the Middle East. For what? For what? There are times to fight and there are times not to fight. There are times to be smart.


VAUSE: But earlier this year in a report in the USA Today, they're actually reporting on to U.S. servicemen who died in a suicide bombing in Manbij in northern Syria. They said basically, since 2016 four U.S. troops are being killed in Syria.

So you know, the total of six, there's been another death, which was non-combat related, so maybe seven or up, that's the 2016. So, when you look at all this, when you put this together, you know, you have the American troops who died and clearly, you know, that's tragic and with no disrespect to those lives which have been lost, you know, it's a minimal cost for what the impact is being.

And then also, the other part is that these soldiers are not coming home to the United States, they'll be sent across the border, at least for a short time, we believe, to Iraq. So how does all this married with what the President is saying about this commitment to bring them home?

SANGER: You know, John, one of the curiosities here is that the President frequently seems to conflate combat deaths with -- which part of the endless war complaint he has, with forces that are essentially conducting peacekeeping operations.

And while any death is too many, obviously, along the Syrian border, we've had very low casualties and in return, you've had a way to keep Iran and Russia at bay, ISIS contained. And that's an awful lot of return on the investment.

That's not the way the president of discusses it. He talks either about the monetary costs or says that we're facing a human -- a term with human cost. And I'm not sure along that part of the border, that we have had a very high cost, particularly compared to the Afghan and Iraq wars.


VAUSE: And also if you compare the, you know, the loss of life the Kurds have suffered in the fight against ISIS, something like 10,000 as well. I want to finish up though with your reporting in the New York Times on Monday. The headline, Erdogan's ambitions go beyond Syria. He says he wants nuclear weapons.

You know, what really stuck out to me in this reporting, David, is how you know, Turkey sort of following this around blueprint of how to get nukes and a big part of that is Russia. But Turkey is a member of NATO.

SANGER: That's right. And of course, the United States has long kept about 50 nuclear weapons in Turkey.

VAUSE: We're going to cut David Sanger there because the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is speaking in Montreal after a very narrow election win. Let's listen in.


JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER, CANADA: -- to Ottawa with a clear mandate. We will make life more affordable. We will continue to fight climate change. We will get guns off our streets and we will keep investing in Canadians.


VAUSE: Well, the Prime Minister there is speaking in both English and French, about seven million Canadians French is their native tongue. So for those who do not speak French, we'll just let you know exactly what's happened to this moment because it was a very nasty and a very close election, which has now seen Trudeau -- it looks a bit as if he will be returned for a second term.

And obviously, it's so much like his father 50 years ago who came in as this very popular, very young, fresh Prime Minister with new ideas. We saw that same thing with his son, Justin. We know that Trudeau Sr. clash with an unpopular U.S. president. We've seen that as well with Justin Trudeau. And also just like his father, he struggled to be reelected.

Paula Newton has been following the twists and turns of this election campaign. And I think he's going to be speaking English now again. Is he? Let's listen in. Sorry, Paula. We'll come back to you in a moment. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUDEAU: None of this would have been possible without you. Thank you for the early mornings and the late nights. You've sacrificed a lot, taking time away from your families and friends to move Canada forward. And I cannot thank you enough. So instead, I'll simply say this. You did it, my friends, congratulations.

To the leaders of the other parties and their families, thank you for being a part of this essential exercise in democracy. You have chosen to serve. Thank you for stepping up in this campaign and in this political life.


VAUSE: OK, well, we're back to French now so let's go to Paula Newton who's standing by. Paula, from what we can make out of with the - with the English side of the speech, it looks like it was a great result for Justin Trudeau, a mandate heading back there, lots of things to do and everyone's happy, not really the case though in reality, isn't it?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No. And when you think about it, he could still lose the popular vote to the Conservative Party. I mean, the votes are still coming in. But no, I think given though what was happening a few weeks ago, right, John, the fact that that we had that scandal with blackface, and that it was just basically the nail in the coffin of what had been a terrible year for the Prime Minister.

Given all that, perhaps many people are thinking that he was very, very careful and lucky to actually squeak out this win at this point in time. But you were right to bring up the echo of his father. You know, they tweeted out that he would have turned 100, his father, just a few weeks ago -- two days ago, pardon me, if he were still alive. And they are certainly seizing on that and believing that they can definitely continue with their mandate.


But I have to tell you, globally and here at home, he is a diminished figure, and that will mean he will be able to do less. It will have to be a less ambitious agenda going forward. Say for one thing, John, and that is on the issue of climate, where Canadians, most Canadians have spoken loud and clear, they want something done about that. John?

VAUSE: You know, the world doesn't usually pay a lot of attention to Canadian elections. No offense. You know, they normally polite, you know, things that (INAUDIBLE)

NEWTON: None taken, John.


VAUSE: But this time, they did. And it was because of the headlines created by the Blackface controversy, you know, these photos emerged from Justin Trudeau's past. But at the end of the day, it seems, you know, that controversy did not have much of an impact, did it?

NEWTON: It -- only for a couple of days. And look, you know, when I say that Canadians don't take much offense to it, this is why they like being under the radar. People like here being under the radar. And when the black face scandal happened, they did not assume that Justin Trudeau was racist. And they looked at his policies and his record, saying, no, this is not the measure of a man who is racist. The problem is, he did humiliate them as Canadians, and I heard from so many commentators and other voters as well saying, it just was humiliating away not just for Justin Trudeau, for the -- for the whole country, and that is the issue that is lingering there. They have this Prime Minister now on a very short leash in terms of what he is able to do. He will have to recreate that brand and again, it is diminished again abroad.

Although, I will say U.S. President Donald Trump just tweeted a few minutes ago, saying that he congratulated him and that it was a hard fought victory, and that he believes that he's looking forward to working with Justin Trudeau. Having said that, there is no two ways about it. And when you look to that foreign policy, again, John, and you think about any bold moves that this Prime Minister promised four years ago, it just isn't happening, especially when you think about things like defense spending, or even on human rights in certain areas, really being able to put some muscle and some backing behind those promises behind a lot of those ambitions overseas, it may not happen. He will be much more constrained here at home now that he has a minority government, and needs to go to other parties to make that happen.

VAUSE: The art of politics all over the world. It will be the same in Canada. Paula, thank you. We're going to back down. Let's do a little more of Justin Trudeau's speech. There he is, the Prime Minister of Canada. No, he's now speaking French. We will move on. If he says anything, we'll let you know.

The thing with politics now, this time in Israel, and this is because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been unable to form a governing coalition. So, that means the opportunity is now open for his rival, Benny Gantz. This has not happened in a decade that Netanyahu has not been able to form a coalition government. CNN's Oren Liebermann looks at what comes next.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has suffered a major blow here in his failure to form a government once again, but it's not the end of the longest serving leader in Israel's history, at least not yet. Netanyahu fell for a second straight time to put together a coalition. First failure was already unprecedented. Now, for the first time in a decade, someone else will have a chance to put together a government, someone else will have a chance to try to lead the country.

On top of that, Netanyahu may soon face potential indictment in ongoing corruption investigations in which he has insisted he's innocent. If an indictment does come down, Netanyahu's personal and political future would be very uncertain. So, who will it be trying to form a government now? Almost certainly, Betty Gantz, the former IDF Chief of Staff, and head of the Blue & White Party. He has 28 days now to form a government. But his chances appear no better than Netanyahu's.

What would happen then? If Gantz doesn't succeed, then there's a 21- day period in which members of Knesset can pick one of their own to lead the country. And if that too fails, a third election within 12 months would automatically be triggered. And because Gantz has no clear path to a government himself, that appears to be a growing possibility, even if that too wouldn't break the political deadlock Israel currently faces. Oren Lieberman, CNN, Jerusalem.


VAUSE: A three-day Brexit showdown kicks off in just hours in the British Parliament despite some dramatic delays and look at why Boris Johnson's government is hoping for a possible breakthrough.



PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Thank you for staying with CNN. I'm Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri for "WEATHER WATCH" and our storm system responsible for at least eight tornadoes back to the west of this region finally pushing away from the Eastern United States. The southeastern coastline going to be impacted with this, with a slight risk for a severe weather stretching from east of Columbia on into the coastal regions of North Carolina portions of Virginia. Winds and hail, the predominant threats, maybe a few isolated tornadoes. But again, the vast majority of the energy with the system beginning to wane here as it pushes off towards the east, and maybe some departing showers for Philly and New York as a result over the next couple of days as it moves off to the east.

To the west, we do have some high wind alerts, some powerful winds, tropical storm force in places back west of Minneapolis, south of Fargo and north of Omaha. So, certainly, a story across that region. And notice, get up into the higher elevations of the Northern Rockies and on into areas of, say, northern Montana, there's significant snowfall yet again back in the forecast. And then coming in towards portions of the Golden State of California, there are fire weather watch in place across this region with strong winds and very little humidities. In fact, concerned very high across Los Angeles, because look at this, sunny skies inside of the next five days; temps well above average climbing up to the middle-30s, as a Santa Ana event shapes up across that region and colder air going to be the story here, at least for the northern portion of the United States.


VAUSE: Another big decision day lose to British lawmakers. They had to decide whether to fast track Boris Johnson's Brexit deal through Parliament, have it done in time to leave the E.U. by the end of the month. In the coming hours, M.P.s will start debating the withdrawal agreement bill that he made with Brussels ministers, said they're hoping to force it through the Commons by Thursday, but Members of Parliament could add amendments and that would mean more delays.

Joining us now from Los Angeles, Dominic Thomas, CNN's European Affairs Commentator. OK, so you know, when we look at this, well, they've got to get this bill through Parliament. And that looks like it may actually happen, believe it or not, but the big problem now is sort of Parliamentary procedure actually getting it done by Thursday. This deal, this agreement is 110-page longest -- long, rather. It has another 120 pages of explanatory notes, meaning M.P.s are just getting it now, they haven't read it. So, how do you expect this to happen? How will it play out?

DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Well, look, John, the opposition for the first time since 2010, when David Cameron became Prime Minister finally in control, they can decide what they're going to do here, and you can guarantee and bet your bottom dollar, that they will spend every moment of their waking day scrutinizing this withdrawal bill, and making sure that this deal which they see as a much harder deal than the one Theresa May proposed, is amended in a fashion that suits them.

And there's no reason for them to hurry on this. And there's no reason for them to seek any other delay, any other kind of delay. And as far as Boris Johnson is concerned, all he can do is criticize the Speaker of the House, the courts and the M.P.s for holding back, but he's not in control of the situation. And he's going to have to sit there patiently as they take their time to scrutinize this latest version of the withdrawal agreement.

VAUSE: You know, this has the sort of do or die feel about it that we've had before. But, you know, Brexit sort of replete with many of these types of days which ultimately fizzle and go nowhere. And that makes it really difficult to know what's happening -- what will happen next.


THOMAS: Well, it does. What we do know is that he's going to have an opportunity to present some of this legislation. As I said a moment ago, the deal is a much harder deal, and the opposition is going to be looking at imposing or requesting certain kinds of amendments. Boris Johnson's position will be, I'm not going back to the European Union. And I'm not going to change this document. You either take it or you have to deal with a no deal. The complicated situation with this is that if any amendments are passed, they have to go back to the European Union to discuss these with them. And in any particular way in which you alter this document, you're going to change the parliamentary arithmetic and the chances of this deal going through.

So, if you start tweaking, for example, the Customs Union, they'll bring some moderates back into the fold that you're going to alienate some of the Brexiteers. So, as time goes on here, it's all going to be about what it is they endeavor to impose, what the reaction is from the government, and the likelihood of pushing that down the road and going back to the European Union. And ultimately, this will all start to play out tomorrow.

VAUSE: Is the big picture here sort of the bigger issue, the bigger concern, just how Britain's parliamentary system appears to have broken down. You know, the Prime Minister, be it Theresa May or Boris Johnson, they just seem unable to govern. You know, their similarities, you know, with the Rump Parliament of 1653, I believe, when Oliver Cromwell Lord Protector of England, he closed it down saying, "Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievance redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance. In the name of God, go. You know, that does something -- that seems to be so relevant to Britain today.

THOMAS: It does. And you know, when you start reading out and quoting in that way, we know we're in trouble, John. So, I mean, you know, basically, we're arguing -- we're potentially going to end up with what would have been called a rump state because they're about to see, you know, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland potentially unite and Scotland secede and, and so on. But no, in some ways, what's going on in the U.K. is reflected across Europe. We've been watching the elections in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, where you've had these historically long coalition talks, and when you just Look back at the Parliamentary context, where you have nowhere to go, there are at least two Conservative parties to Labour parties and the Lib Dems with these factions that are there within, and seemingly nowhere for these places to go.

So, the big question is, what's going to be the solution here? A general election is unlikely to change the lines over Brexit because each party will run some kind of agenda. Ultimately, you're going further down the road of having some kind of referendum, possibly on Boris Johnson's deal with the specifics of that spelled out or remaining in the European Union but something is going to be needed to break the stalemate here.

VAUSE: We have just enough time to share a tweet from Julian Popov, a writer, who was for a time, Bulgaria's environment (INAUDIBLE) So, from 1653, the year is 2192, the British Prime Minister visits Brussels to ask for an extension of the Brexit deadline. No one remembers where this tradition originated. But every year, it attracts many tourists from all over the world. It's funny because it's true.

THOMAS: Yes. And we will be back --

VAUSE: And this is essentially what they're looking at, right?

THOMAS: See you in 2192, John.

VAUSE: Look forward to it. Thanks, Dom.


VAUSE: OK. Lebanon, how they passed an emergency plan there to try and calm tensions but it has not worked with the protesters. Lawmakers slashed government salaries and scrap of 30 measures but demonstrations continued in Beirut and other cities well into the evening. Hundreds of thousands of people are flooding the streets in Thursday, angry over the country's deteriorating economy, which they blame on the political (INAUDIBLE)

In Chile, the government is taking action to stay involved in protests over a proposed transit fare hike. At least 11 people have been killed in what's being called the worst unrest since the (INAUDIBLE) regime. Protesters are angry about a small hike in subway fares. Late Monday, the country Senate voted to cancel the proposed (INAUDIBLE) officials have extended curfew for the entire Santiago region for a third consecutive day.

Coming up here, as Donald Trump melts down over the impeachment inquiry, he's urging his fellow Republicans, time to get tough. Let's stick together.




VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody.

I'm John Vause with an update of the hour's top news.

The ceasefire between Turkey and Kurdish forces will soon expire in northern Syria. The Kurds, still angry at President Trump for ordering a troops drawdown, pelted U.S. troops with rotten fruit and vegetables on Monday as they left for Iraq.

Boris Johnson's visions for Brexit will see another test in parliament in the upcoming hours. U.K. lawmakers are expected to vote on his new withdrawal agreement bill. The prime minister's Brexit plan was delayed yet again on Monday after the Speaker of the House of Commons refused to allow a vote because of procedural rules.

It appears Justin Trudeau will remain Canada's prime minister but the (INAUDIBLE) both project he will lead a minority government. Mr. Trudeau fought off a challenge from the conservative with Andrew Scheer during two major scandal -- one in blackface, the other corruption.

A tough week coming up in Washington for Donald Trump. But when the going gets tough, the President tells his fellow Republicans to get tougher and fight. At a cabinet meeting on Monday he complained Republicans should be more like the Democrats, vicious he said, were sticking together in their attempts to impeach him.

The Democrats are sticking together at least until they've gone for this impeachment inquiry. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi say now the facts she called truth exposed on outlining the reasons for impeachment. Meantime there are several depositions planned for the coming weeks. That includes Bill Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, deputy assistant to Press Secretary Laura Cooper, and a source tells CNN that Philip Reacher (ph) acting assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs will be deposed this weekend.

Bill Taylor has become an unlikely yet major player in the Democrats' impeachment probe. We have more now from CNN's Kylie Atwood.


KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN SECRETARY REPORTER: Ambassador Bill Taylor came out of retirement to take over the job as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine earlier this year. But we are learning that it took some motivation to get him to take that job. He was initially weary to take it and he was suggested because career professionals said he would be a great fit for the job.

He served as U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009 so he was pulled in as a possible person to take this job. And came in, he met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and some other senior official at the State Department.

And during that meeting, he discussed with them the U.S. policy towards Ukraine. And there was a tenuous moment given that Ambassador Yovanovitch had just been abruptly removed from the post. We now know that she was removed because of the pressure that President Trump put on the State Department. He didn't want her there so they removed her.


ATWOOD: So Ambassador Bill Taylor took over and he is now set to provide testimony to Congress tomorrow. What they're going to want to learn from him is what he saw over the last few months with the Trump administration and the holdup of security assistance to Ukraine.

In one of his text messages to the U.S. ambassador to the E.U., he said they would be crazy to withhold that security assistance for political favor from the Ukrainians. He was told that that was not the intention of President Trump but there's clearly a reason that he believed that would be the case and we are set to learn more about that tomorrow.

Kylie Atwood, CNN -- Washington.


VAUSE: A momentous day in Japan as Emperor Naruhito celebrates his enthronement in an ancient ceremony with grandeur, steep with tradition.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's an instinct, a feeling.


VAUSE: Well, this is the day "Star Wars" fans have been waiting for (INAUDIBLE) Monday. This is the official trailer for the next "Star Wars" movie, "The Rise of Skywalker". It was released on Monday which would have been the 63rd birthday of the late Carrie Fisher who played Princess Leia.

This will be the ninth and final episode in the Luke Skywalker saga. It hits theaters December 20th. (INAUDIBLE) -- money for the free add.

VAUSE: It was a ceremony and celebration in Tokyo as Japan's Emperor Naruhito was officially completing his coronation. He proclaimed his enthronement to the world last hour in a ceremony steep in tradition dating back hundreds of years.

They're going to switch again began in May with a much small bent (ph) when he replaces Akihito were completed before an audience of royals, dignitaries and other heads of state. All except the parade which was meant to be held this afternoon but that will be now held November 10th.

CNN's Will Ripley is in Tokyo. Will -- wrap it up, a big day.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John -- yes. Today, a very important moment in the transition from Japan's Heisei era of serene peace to the now Reiwa (ph) era of beautiful harmony, the era of the new Emperor Naruhito who we saw in his enthronement ceremony, something that is kind of a window into Japan's past and it's really extraordinary moments.

And here to kind of take us through what we saw about 90 minutes ago, bit by bit is Nancy Snow once again. And I want to start with that iconic moment of when, you know, Emperor Naruhito is sitting on the Pine Pavilion Chrysanthemum Throne and the curtain opens. The scene almost identical to his father's enthronement back in 1990. Speak to the significance of that.


NANCY SNOW, KYOTO UNIVERSITY OF FOREIGN STUDIES: Well, this is his proclamation that he has fully become the emperor and that's why you have this reveal and it's a reveal to the public, to the Japanese people, to the foreign dignitaries. This is really about Japan opening up itself to the world vis a vis this emperor.

And that's why it's so auspicious, it's so really inspiring. It's a moment for Japan. And then when you think about remarks, too, emphasizing peace and happiness going forward which were then reflected by the Prime Minister Abe before the peers (ph).

RIPLEY: Right. You know, looking at the emperor, he's wearing 35 or so pounds of clothing and that orange color is highly significant, isn't it? SNOW: That's right. It represents the highest point of the sun and

the sky, this being the Land of the Rising Sun. so it does have this history in this continuity and it's reflected in the colors and the Hughes that we see -- a lot of gold and lacquer and of course, silk, wonderful silk.

RIPLEY: Even lacquer shoes which can't be comfortable to walk. It's fit for a few minutes to walk, you know, to get to the Pine Pavilion.

You mentioned Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who we saw, not in a political role but as a representative of the Japanese people and we have the video and if we can just kind of let the sound play at full when they showed it banzai. Let's listen for a moment. And then you can tell us more about that.

That doesn't just mean (INAUDIBLE) with the emperor. You're talking about --

SNOW: Long live for a thousand years. I mean really going forward, this is about Japan's continuing into the future and they are a lineage that represents this so boldly.

RIPLEY: And that was one of the few moments when we saw the gun salute that you could hear echoing through here in Tokyo, even from our location near the palace, it was really quite a dramatic moment. And you get goose bumps to kind of see it on screen and then here the bones from where we are.

SNOW: Well, you can't really help but feel the goosebumps and the moment. And I've received some messages from Japanese friends who said that they were feeling good about the Japan representing peace and harmony in the world. You can't make light of this because this is really touted regularly in Japan.

RIPLEY: So the big bank what happens -- in a few hours from now. You have 400 VIPs from 174 different countries. Everyone from Prince Charles to the U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

You have the Former French President's Nicholai Sarkozy, but with is also significant because you have many politicians here, that Shinzo Abe has something like 50 bilateral meetings in the coming days, taking advantage of all these powerful figures here in Tokyo.

SNOW: Yes. And this will be interesting. He's going to need a lot of endurance but this might actually shape the narrative going forward because the ceremony, until we have the ceremonial motorcade on November 10th.

This will sort of quiet down and then we'll go back to politics as we always do. But dialogue is always good to have these bilateral sit downs.

RIPLEY: John, he emperor certainly has an political role, but to be able to draw kings from all over Europe, heads of state from all over the world for this event. It certainly is a big moment for Japan and an opportunity for Japan to open up conversations the whole a lot of their allies around the world.

VAUSE: Yes. And it was like watching a piece of history, you know, the ceremony, which is 1,200 years old. And obviously hasn't changed the whole way so for many of you modern touches.

Will -- thank you so much. Also Nancy Snow there -- take care.

We appreciate you being with us. Thank you.

And thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause, please stay with us.

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