TOKYO- Japanese emperor Akihito is set to step down from the throne on Tuesday, becoming the first monarch to do so in modern history.
The day’s ceremonies began with several private rituals in the Imperial Palace.
The 85-year-old has been given legal permission to abdicate after he complained of being unable to fulfill his role because of his age and frail health.
His son, Crown Prince Naruhito, 59, will ascend the Chrysanthemum throne as the 126th emperor the next day, beginning a new era.
The emperor in Japan holds no political power but serves as a national symbol.
The much-loved Emperor Akihito will be remembered for connecting with his public in a way that no other Japanese monarch has done and expressing “deep remorse” for the country’s actions during World War II.