Tuesday, April 30, 2019

#JAPAN: Emperor Akihito Gives Final Speech As Emperor In Long-Planned Abdication Ceremony

[world politics news]

Japanese Emperor Akihito abdicated the throne Tuesday, bringing the three-decade-long Heisei era to a close. A ceremony to mark the occasion was held at the Imperial Palace. Akihito gave his last speech to the people in his current role.

"Since ascending the throne 30 years ago, I have performed my duties as the Emperor with a deep sense of trust in and respect for the people, and I consider myself most fortunate to have been able to do so. I sincerely thank the people who accepted and supported me in my role as the symbol of the State."

The ceremony was long-planned, as the Japanese parliament, the Diet, passed legislation last year to allow the 85-year-old monarch to resign his office due to age and ill-health. He is the first Emperor in Japan to do so in over 200 years. His eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito, formally ascends the throne later today. A new era - called Reiwa, meaning order and harmony - will begin in Japan's unique calendar, which assigns a name to each emperor's "era."


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