Japan is beginning a new era. Naruhito succeeds Akihito, his father and emperor, in historical abdication

Akihito was emperor since 1989 and this Tuesday, he passed testimony to his son, ushering in a new era in the world's oldest hereditary monarchy.

It is the end of the imperial era of "Heisei" (completion of peace) and a historic moment for Japan. This Tuesday, the Japanese emperor Akihito becomes the first to abdicate the throne in 200 years, and gives way to his son, the prince Naruhito. The ceremony has already begun this morning, but only on Wednesday will the reign of Reiwa begin (Beautiful harmony). Although the emperor figure has no political power in Japan, it is a national symbol, in what is the oldest hereditary monarchy in the world.

This Tuesday's ceremonies - also known as Taiirei-Seiden-nogi - began with brief private rituals at Tokyo's Imperial Palace, according to the BBC. Then the emperor began the passage of testimony to his son at a stage of the ceremony already open to the public. It is estimated that more than 330 people were present.

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