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Japan's Reiwa era

Japan's new emperor wishes for world peace upon taking throne

People across the country celebrate with countdowns and special festivals

Japanese Emperor Naruhito delivers his first remarks with Empress Masako at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on May 1. (Pool photo)

TOKYO -- Crown Prince Naruhito ascended to Japan's Chrysanthemum Throne at midnight on Wednesday, May 1, marking the beginning of the new Reiwa era.

The new emperor succeeded his father, Akihito, who became the first emperor to abdicate since 1817. Akihito now holds the title of emperor emeritus and has retired from public duties along with his wife, now Empress Emerita Michiko.

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