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Japanese emperor abdicates

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 4/30/19, 12:44 pm

Japanese Emperor Akihito announced his abdication at a palace ceremony on Tuesday. “Since ascending 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,” Akihito said in his final address. “I sincerely thank the people who accepted and supported me in my role as the symbol of the state.”

At midnight, Akihito’s reign will end, and his son Crown Prince Naruhito will become the new emperor. Naruhito will formally ascend to the throne on Wednesday and receive his imperial regalia and seals in a separate ceremony.

Akihito, 85, became emperor in 1989 and focused on making amends for World War II. He was the first emperor to marry a commoner. Recent media surveys have shown public support for the imperial family at 80 percent.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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