Emperor Akihito to Abdicate on Tues., Ending Heisei Era


Tokyo, April 29 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Emperor Akihito, 85, is to abdicate on Tuesday, ending the current Heisei era in its 31st year.

On Wednesday, Crown Prince Naruhito, 59, will become Emperor, taking on the role defined as "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people" by the constitution. His rise to the throne will mark the start of the new era, Reiwa.

Emperor Akihito will be the first Japanese Emperor to abdicate in about 200 years, since Emperor Kokaku stepped down in 1817 in the late Edo period.

From 5 p.m. Tuesday (8 a.m. GMT), Japan will hold the "Taiirei-Seiden-no-Gi" abdication ceremony for the first time under constitutional government.

In the ceremony, Emperor Akihito will give his final public speech as the holder of the Chrysanthemum Throne. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will represent the nation to express gratitude.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press