Japan Emperor reign anniversary

The House of Representatives issued congratulations to Emperor Akihito (85) on his 30-year reign, ahead of his abdication at the end of April, in the first such message dedicated to a particular Imperial anniversary.

“We, the Japanese people, respectfully acknowledge His Majesty the Emperor’s achievements over the past 30 years under his era of Heisei, during which he has always stood by the people and prayed for their peace,” says the message.

Among political parties, the Japanese Communist Party, which has traditionally maintained a distance from the Imperial system, boycotted the imitative, explaining that they do not agree with the “unprecedented” message that “excessively praises” the Emperor in light of the principle of popular sovereignty.

The Heisei Era started with the Emperor’s enthronement in 1989 and will end when the 85-year-old steps down on April 30 as the first Japanese monarch to do so in about 200 years. His eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito (59), will take over the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1.

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