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Japan's emperor Akihito abdicates with message of love

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Emperor Akihito has thanked the people of Japan for their support during his 30-year reign and said he hopes his successor’s time on the chrysanthemum throne will be “stable and fruitful”, as he becomes the country’s first monarch to abdicate in two centuries.


Speaking at a brief ceremony in the state room of the imperial palace a day before his eldest son, Naruhito, ascends the throne, the 85-year-old said he was praying for peace and happiness for the people of Japan.


“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,” he said in remarks broadcast live on TV.


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See this story on www.theguardian.com
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