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Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako: With his enthronement on Tuesday, the emperor brings a modern mindset to a role bound by tradition. (Pool photo)
Asia Insight

Japan's Emperor Naruhito: Modern family man inherits heavy legacy

As nation marks enthronement, debate simmers over role of women

MITSURU OBE, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

TOKYO -- Japan's new Emperor Naruhito said in 1985 that he had learned to think for himself after two years at Oxford, apparently declaring his independence from forces trying to control him.

Naruhito, now 59, put his words into practice in 1993 by choosing a U.S.-educated diplomat as his wife, sparking a national sensation and putting the world's oldest monarchy under a spotlight that remains bright to this day.

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