Japan’s Emperor Abdicates, 1st In 200 Years

(Tokyo-AP) – Japan’s Emperor Akihito has stepped down, becoming the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in more than 200 years. Akihito formally gave up the Chrysanthemum Throne in a ceremony and speech today at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

The 85-year-old Akihito received permission to abdicate after saying he wasn’t able to fulfill his role because of advancing age and declining health. Crown Prince Naruhito will ascend as emperor in a ceremony Wednesday.

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