A New Era Begins In Japan As Emperor Naruhito Ascends The Throne

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Emperor Naruhito's reign began yesterday as he ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne marking the beginning of a new imperial era in Japan. The sword and magatama are expected to be housed at the Emperor's residence, the Akasaka Imperial Palace.

Another change is geopolitical: The emergence of neighboring China as an economic and military superpower, and the relative decline of the United States-Japan's military ally. The name appears on coins, newspapers, driver's licences and official documents; it also stands for a certain period and what is seen as its defining spirit - such as "the 90s" or "the Victorian era", the BBC wrote in an explainer on the new Emperor and his gengo.

Emperor Akihito is the first Japanese monarch to abdicate the throne in more than two centuries. "I would like to learn various things from the past and firmly carry forward traditions that have been passed down since ancient times, while also pursuing the ideal role that the imperial family should take in the future".

Naruhito, the first emperor born after World War II and the first to be raised exclusively by his parents, expressed gratitude for their work and said he felt solemn at the thought of the burden he is taking on.

President Mahmoud Abbas today congratulated Naruhito on the occasion of his inauguration as Emperor of Japan. "May the Japanese people achieve their aspirations of peace and unity in the new Reiwa era", he wrote.

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Japan's new Emperor Naruhito, whose ascension was formalised earlier on Wednesday, gave his first address and expressed hope for happiness and world peace during his era.

Naruhito's brother Prince Fumihito will be next in line to the throne, followed by the new emperor's nephew, 12-year-old Prince Hisahito.

"People saw a human side of a man defending his wife and I think people admired him a great deal for that", said Jeff Kingston, Asian studies director at Temple University's Japan Campus.

"The abdication of Emperor Akihito marks the end of the Heisei era for Japan".

The abdication of now-Emperor Emeritus Akihito was the first in more than 200 years, since Emperor Kokaku stepped down in 1817.

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Akihito abdicated Tuesday after reigning for three decades.

His father will move out of the palace later this year and now assumes the title Emperor Emeritus. After the ratification of Japan's post-WWII constitution, the position became largely symbolic and offers no political power.

In the first place, there's the demographic trend: More than half of babies born in Japan today expect to live to 100 and this astounding longevity will take its toll in economy, health care and other sectors.

Former Japanese Emperor Akihito visited 36 countries during his 30-year reign, many more than the eight to which his predecessor traveled, but South Korea was one significant omission from the list, leaving unfinished business for his just-enthroned son Emperor Naruhito. The ceremony was also attended by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the heads of both chambers of the Diet, the chief justice of the Supreme Court and Cabinet members.

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