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Japan's Emperor Akihito Steps Down After 30 Years

World | | May 1, 2019, 9:58 am
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 Japan's Emperor Akihito formally abdicated in a historic ceremony in Tokyo, becoming the country's first monarch to stand down in two centuries. (Image: AP)

Japan's Emperor Akihito formally abdicated in a historic ceremony in Tokyo, becoming the country's first monarch to stand down in two centuries. (Image: AP)

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 In his last public address as Emperor from the Matsu-no-Ma stateroom of the Imperial Palace, Akihito thanked the Japanese people for their support as his 30-year reign came to an end and said he hoped his successor's time on the throne would be 'stable and fruitful.' (Image: AP)

In his last public address as Emperor from the Matsu-no-Ma stateroom of the Imperial Palace, Akihito thanked the Japanese people for their support as his 30-year reign came to an end and said he hoped his successor's time on the throne would be 'stable and fruitful.' (Image: AP)

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 Japan's Emperor Akihito speaks during the ceremony of his abdication in front of other members of the royal families and top government officials at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. (Image: AP)

Japan's Emperor Akihito speaks during the ceremony of his abdication in front of other members of the royal families and top government officials at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. (Image: AP)

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 Akihito was given permission to abdicate after saying he felt unable to fulfil his role because of his declining health. (Image: AP)

Akihito was given permission to abdicate after saying he felt unable to fulfil his role because of his declining health. (Image: AP)

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 The main 'Ceremony of the Abdication' took place in a stateroom of the Imperial Palace, which was attended by around 300 people, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako. (Image: AP)

The main 'Ceremony of the Abdication' took place in a stateroom of the Imperial Palace, which was attended by around 300 people, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako. (Image: AP)

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 Japan's Prince Akishino, his wife Princess Kiko, their daughters Princess Mako and Princess Kako attend the ceremony of Emperor Akihito's abdication in Tokyo. (Image: AP)

Japan's Prince Akishino, his wife Princess Kiko, their daughters Princess Mako and Princess Kako attend the ceremony of Emperor Akihito's abdication in Tokyo. (Image: AP)

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 File photo of Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, during the autumn garden party at the Akasaka Palace imperial garden in Tokyo. (Image: AP)

File photo of Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, during the autumn garden party at the Akasaka Palace imperial garden in Tokyo. (Image: AP)

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 Japan's Empress Michiko, right, bows to Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako after the ceremony of Emperor Akihito's abdication at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. (Image: AP)

Japan's Empress Michiko, right, bows to Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako after the ceremony of Emperor Akihito's abdication at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. (Image: AP)

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 Japan's Emperor Akihito speaks during the ceremony of his abdication in front of other members of the royal families and top government officials at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. (Image: AP)

Japan's Emperor Akihito speaks during the ceremony of his abdication in front of other members of the royal families and top government officials at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. (Image: AP)

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 Japan's Emperor Akihito with Empress Michiko, his son Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako during the abdication ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. (Image: AP)

Japan's Emperor Akihito with Empress Michiko, his son Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako during the abdication ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. (Image: AP)

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