Japanese’s Emperor Akihito began the historic abdication process at Imperial Palace in Tokyo. He is the first emperor to abdicate in the last 200 years. The royal family in Japan holds no political power but rather serves as a national symbol.
Why the Japanese Emperor is Abdicating
In a rare address, the 85-year-old emperor told that he feared his old age and declining health to cause him to falter in his royal duties. While delivering the address emperor Akihito hinted at abdicating from the throne to allow the next in line to take over.
According to a poll, a vast majority of the Japanese’s people showed sympathies towards him. Later, parliament enacted a law which allowed him to abdicate. This is the first abdication to have occurred in 200 years. The Japanese government has extended the annual spring holidays to 10 days so people can watch the ascent and descent of the new and old emperors respectively.
Where Will the Ceremony Take Place
The Taiirei-Seiden-nogi or the main abdication ceremony will take place in Matsu-no-Ma stateroom in the Imperial Palace. The ceremony is expected to begin at 1700 local time or 8 o’clock GMT. Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will enter the room for a 10-minute ritual.
The ceremony is expected to be attended by 330 people comprising of friends, family, and other prominent figures that may include other heads of state. The ceremony will end with a speech from Emperor Akihito who will retain his position until midnight.
Prince Naruhito Will Ascend the Thrown As The 126th Emperor Of Japan.
After Emperor Akihito the 59-year-old Crown Prince Naruhito will become the emperor of Japan. The ascent of the Oxford graduate will mark the end of the of Heisei era and will signify the beginning of the Reiwa era.
As Japan’s, current laws prevent the females from inheriting the throne the soon to-be-emperor’s daughter Princess Aiko will not inherit the throne. After her father her uncle, Prince Fumihito will inherit the throne and later her 12-year-old cousin Prince Hisahito will be next in line to ascend to the throne.