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Home / World / Emperor Naruhito is ready to climb the Chrysanthemum throne. What can Japan expect from its new ruler?

Emperor Naruhito is ready to climb the Chrysanthemum throne. What can Japan expect from its new ruler?

In February, he vowed to continue his father's legacy, particularly in breaking down the barriers between the Emperor and his subjects.

"I really want to fulfill my responsibilities by being close to people and sharing their joys and sorrows with them," he said.

Hironomiya Naruhito Shinno, better known as Crown Prince Naruhito, was born in Tokyo in February 1960, the eldest child of Emperor Akihito, who abdicated on Tuesday and his wife Michiko.

Those who know Naruhito describe him as "modest, charming, and astute," says Jeffrey Kingston, director of Asian Studies at Temple University in Japan.

He was the first Japanese king to study abroad. He spent two years at Oxford University in the United Kingdom and wrote a PhD on medieval mercantilism on the Thames before returning to Tokyo for a doctoral degree and his alma mater, Gakushuin University.

The casual personality and humor of Anglophile Naruhito shine through in his book "The Thames and Me: A Memoir of Two Years in Oxford."

Now he must emerge from the shadow of his father and establish himself as a modern leader.

Naruhito, who has already taken on some of his father's duties, will usher in the era of "Reiwa" – whose name includes the figure "Harmony" – when he ascends the throne on May 1.

"It is his government name that is shaped by actions and gestures," says Kingston. He added that Naruhito's challenge in defining his era was to avoid "co" – adopted by Japan's right-wing politicians.

Strict Traditions

The Chrysanthemum Throne is the world's oldest hereditary monarchy, and the records show that the male royal lineage has been uninterrupted for 14 centuries.Naruhito himself is a direct descendant of Japan's first emperor Jimmu, c BC

The only child of Naruhito and his wife Masako is a daughter, Aiko, and women are expelled from the throne, which means that the brother of the new emperor, Akishino, will be the first place on the throne, while Akishino's 12-year-old son Hisahito – the only male representative of this generation of Japanese royals – comes second.

Other imperial traditions have been relaxed, especially in relation to marriage.

Akihito was the first emperor to marry a citizen after he became Michiko Had met in 1957 during a tennis match in the scenic mountain town of Karuizawa.

The couple also broke with tradition, playing an active role in the Education of his four children, including the future emperor.

Naruhito followed in 1993 when she married the career diplomat Masako Owada, although she proposed becoming part of the strictly traditional and hidden Imperial Household.

  Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, left, lead their two sons, accompanied by their spouses and a daughter, during the annual Imperial Garden Party in the fall of 1997 at the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo.

Masako, under enormous production pressure A male heir who continues the unbroken line suffered a miscarriage in 1999 before giving birth to Aiko two years later.

GPs found that they suffered from an "adjustment disorder" caused by stress, which can lead to depression.

Naruhito has deeply protected his wife. Even as they wooed, he promised to protect them from the control and hardships of imperial life.

  Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito chats with former fiancé Masako Owada, a former career diplomat, in the garden of Tokyo's Togu Palace prior to his 1993 wedding.

The new emperor is "something of an outsider," said Kingston, citing Naruhito's controversial remarks in 2004 when he suggested that bureaucrats of the imperial household should be held responsible for his wife's condition because "they were obsessed with producing a male heir."

Jeremy Yellen, assistant professor in The Department of Japan Studies at the Chinese University in Hong Kong says that he expects in the new era that Naruhito "his wife, Princess Masako, and his family remain very shy is tzen. "

New path

Emperor Hirohito renounced his divine status in After the defeat of Japan in the Second World War and the subsequent occupation by the US military, Japanese emperors were considered demigods.

Hirohito's son Akihito condemned militarism and rejected revisionist reports of the war years.

Naruhito has announced that he will continue his father's legacy, Yellen says.

"I think very likely that he will follow many of the precedents that have made his father such a success with the media, even if this is not the case For him as important as for his father, I believe that he will continue the rejection of revisionist views of the Japanese war by Emperor Akihito. "

  Members of the royal family beckon to the crowd during the New Year's Welcome ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo in January 2019.

At the press conferences at the birthday conferences of the past For years, Naruhito has made it clear that he shares his father's views on the war in Japan and his unwavering commitment to pacifism.

"I myself did not experience the war," he said on his 55th birthday in 2015. "But I think it's important today when memories of the war subside humbly on the past and the tragic ones Experience and the history that Japan has passed on from the generation that experienced the war to those without direct knowledge. "

New direction

However, Kingston says that the anti-war message does not resonate as strongly with the curren A generation that has no memories of the war or post-war deprivations.

Instead, many see the changing geopolitics of the region, especially the rise of China.

"Millennials … see a threatening and often hostile neighborhood in Asia," he says.

Naruhito, whose maiden name means "a man who will acquire celestial virtues," seems to continue to champion social change. He has a particular interest in clean water and water conservation, and Kingston says this is probably his best chance to define himself independent of his 85-year-old beloved father, who took over the throne in 1989.

Emerging from his father's long shadow, climate change could become a source of discrimination for Naruhito, building on his long-standing interest in environmental environmental issues to work for disaster resilience and sustainable development.

  Japan's Emperor Akihito and his son Crown Prince Naruhito beckon to the crowd during the New Year's welcome ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on January 2, 2019.

"Naruhito" already has extensive training as a consultant chief, Kingston says and pays for the necessary Visits to the Tohoku region devastated by the 2011 tsunami

"It also supports several causes for vulnerable and marginalized groups," says Kingston.

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