On a beautiful spring morning last week, I stood on a street corner on the western outskirts of Tokyo. For hundreds of metres in each direction, the road was lined, three-deep, with eager, excited faces. Then, with almost no warning, a large black limousine approached over a bridge, motorcycle outriders on either side.
Opinion polls showed the overwhelming majority of Japanese supported the emperor’s wish. Mr Abe and the conservatives had no choice but to comply. It has taken nearly another two years, but now Emperor Akihito will finally be able to enjoy his retirement.
The country will officially begin a new era on 1 May, when Crown Prince Naruhito ascends to the Chrysanthemum Throne as the new emperor.
Prince Naruhito and Princess Masako with their pet dog Yuri.
明日から 令和 ですね(^-^)