Japan’s emperor abdicates the throne

Japan’s Emperor Akihito has declared his abdication. It makes him the first Japanese emperor to abdicate in more than 200 years.

The day’s ceremonies began with several private rituals in the Imperial Palace.

The 85-year-old has been given legal permission to abdicate after saying he felt unable to fulfil his role because of his age and declining health.

His son, Crown Prince Naruhito, will ascend the Chrysanthemum throne on Wednesday, beginning a new era.

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