Emperor Akihito to abdicate, Japan embraces end of era

FILE - In this Dec. 23, 2018, file photo, Japan's Emperor Akihito, right, accompanied by Crown Prince Naruhito, walks away after greeting well-wishers when they appeared on the balcony of the Imperial Palace to mark the emperor's 85th birthday in Tokyo. Akihito is ending his three-decade reign Tuesday, April 30, 2019 as he abdicates to his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, becoming the first to do so in 200 years, in a step nobody today has witnessed. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

TOKYO — Emperor Akihito is set to abdicate, as Japan embraces the end of his reign with an emotion mixed with reminiscence and hopes for a new era.

Akihito, 85, in a palace ritual Tuesday, will announce his retirement before other members of the royal family and top government officials. He was to perform private palace rituals to report his retirement to Shinto gods ahead of the official ceremony.

Akihito's reign runs through midnight when his son Crown Prince Naruhito becomes new emperor and his era begins.

Akihito has devoted his career to make amends for the victims of a war fought in his father's name, while bringing the aloof monarchy closer to the people.

Naruhito will ascend the Chrysanthemum throne in a separate ceremony on Wednesday.

People also read these

Hong Kong superstar Aaron Kwok announces he's a...

Sep 22, 2017

Hong Kong superstar Aaron Kwok has announced on social media that he's a father

Michelle Yeoh: Weinstein a 'bully,' 'not always...

Oct 17, 2017

Actress Michelle Yeoh says she was aware of Harvey Weinstein's reputation and would have unleashed...

Pharrell Williams sounds warning about climate...

Nov 15, 2017

Grammy winner Pharrell Williams sounds warning about climate change with song titled "100 Years"

Model Gigi Hadid pulls out of Victoria's Secret...

Nov 17, 2017

Supermodel Gigi Hadid says she will not be walking the Victoria's Secret fashion show in Shanghai...

Another deadly blaze strikes Beijing as evictions...

Dec 14, 2017

Five people have died in an east Beijing fire, underscoring the challenges for the Chinese capital...