Japan's Emperor Akihito Abdicates, Marking Change of Era

Politics Society

Tokyo, May 1 (Jiji Press)--Emperor Akihito, who watched over Japan as the symbol of the state for three decades, stepped down on Tuesday, passing the torch to his eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito, in the first succession from a living Emperor in 202 years in Japan.

The change of the occupant of the Chrysanthemum Throne marked a shift of Japan's era from Heisei to Reiwa.

"Today, I am concluding my duties as the Emperor," the retiring Emperor said during the "Taiirei-Seiden-no-Gi" ceremony to inform the public of his abdication, held at the Imperial Palace on Tuesday afternoon.

"I sincerely thank the people who accepted and supported me in my role as the symbol of the state," the Emperor said.

"Since ascending to 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," he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press