Japanese emperor to abdicate on April 30, 2019

Tokyo: Emperor Akihito will abdicate on April 30, 2019, a milestone after reaching his 30th anniversary on the throne. This will be the first abdication in Japan in about 200 years. Crown Prince Naruhito, his eldest son, will ascend the Chrysanthemum, considered the world’s oldest monarchy, on May 1 2019 that year marking the beginning of a new as yet unnamed era. Akihito was 56 years old when he ascended the throne in January 1989 after the death of his father, Emperor Hirohito, beginning the Heisei Era.  Last year, the emperor had indicated his desire to relinquish the throne citing his age and health.