Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Japan's Emperor Akihito walks for a ritual called Taiirei-Tojitsu-Kashikodokoro-Omae-no-gi, a ceremony for the Emperor to report the conduct of the abdication ceremony, at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan April 30, 2019. Japanese Emperor Akihito reported his abdication to a Shinto sun goddess in a ritual at the Imperial Palace on Tuesday, starting a day of ceremonies to end a three decade reign in which he sought to ease painful memories of World War Two and bring the monarchy closer to people. Japan Pool/Pool via REUTERS

Japan's Emperor Akihito walks for a ritual called Taiirei-Tojitsu-Kashikodokoro-Omae-no-gi, a ceremony for the Emperor to report the conduct of the abdication ceremony, at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan April 30, 2019. Akihito, 85, was the first Japanese monarch to take the throne under a post-war constitution that defines the emperor as a symbol of the people without political power. His abdication is the first in two centuries. Japan Pool/Pool via REUTERS

Japan's Emperor Akihito walks during a ritual called Taiirei-Tojitsu-Kashikodokoro-Omae-no-gi, a ceremony for the Emperor to report the conduct of the abdication ceremony, at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan April 30, 2019. His father, Hirohito, in whose name Japanese troops fought World War Two, was considered a living deity until after Japan's defeat in 1945, when he renounced his divinity. Japan Pool/Pool via REUTERS

Japan's Emperor Akihito walks for a ritual called Taiirei-Tojitsu-Kashikodokoro-Omae-no-gi, a ceremony for the Emperor to report the conduct of the abdication ceremony, at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan April 30, 2019. Akihito, together with Empress Michiko, his wife of 60 years and the first commoner to marry an imperial heir, carved out an active role as a symbol of reconciliation, peace and democracy. Japan Pool/Pool via REUTERS

Japan's Emperor Akihito walks for a ritual called Taiirei-Tojitsu-Kashikodokoro-Omae-no-gi, a ceremony for the Emperor to report the conduct of the abdication ceremony, at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan April 30, 2019. "I think the emperor is loved by the people. His image is one of encouraging the people, such as after disasters, and being close to the people," Morio Miyamoto, 48, said as he waited near a train station in western Tokyo. "I hope the next emperor will, like the Heisei emperor, be close to the people in the same way," he said. Japan Pool/Pool via REUTERS

Japan's Emperor Akihito walks for a ritual called Taiirei-Tojitsu-Kashikodokoro-Omae-no-gi, a ceremony for the Emperor to report the conduct of the abdication ceremony, at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan April 30, 2019, in this photo released by Kyodo. Akihito, who has had treatment for prostate cancer and heart surgery, said in a televised address in 2016 that he feared his age would make it hard for him to carry out his duties fully. Kyodo/via REUTERS