Japan’s Emperor Akihito abdicates after 30-years reign
30 April 2019| 24 Shabaan 1440| Anadolu Agency
Japanese Emperor Akihito officially announced his abdication at a ceremony on Tuesday to end his 30-year reign.
“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,” Japanese news agency Kyodo quoted the outgoing emperor as saying.
In the historic ceremony held at the Imperial Palace, 85-year-old emperor expressed his appreciation for the support of Japanese people over the course of his reign.
Akihito wished that the Reiwa era will be a “stable and fruitful” for Japan in his final address as emperor, Kyodo reported.
The ceremony was attended by 300 guests, including imperial family members, cabinet ministers, the leaders of both Diet chambers and Supreme Court justices.
Akihito — the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in 202 years, will formally step down on Tuesday midnight and no longer engage in official duties.
The emperor’s elder son, Crown Prince Naruhito, 59, will accede to the throne on Wednesday to launch the era of Reiwa, combination of “good” and “harmony” in meaning.
Akihito ascended to the throne at the age of 55 when his father Emperor Hirohito died on January 7, 1989.
In 2016, Akihito expressed his desire to abdicate for health reasons. A year later, Japan enacted legislation enabling him to step down.