30, April 2019
Japan’s 85-year-old Emperor Akihito ends his three-decade reign on Tuesday when he abdicates to his son Crown Prince Naruhito. FRANCE 24 takes a look back at his 30 years as head of state.
Akihito will announce his abdication in a palace ritual on Tuesday evening, but technically he remains the emperor until midnight, when his era of “Heisei”, or “achieving peace,” ends and his son Naruhito takes over, starting a new “Reiwa” era of “beautiful harmony”.
The succession has been marked by festivities across Japan, though the rituals are off-limits to the public and traffic will be tightly controlled outside the palace. A more elaborate enthronement ceremony for Naruhito will be held in October, when he will proclaim his ascension before officials and guests from inside and outside the country.