Japan's new emperor Naruhito will officially mark his rise to the chrysanthemum throne on Wednesday, one day after his father became the first emperor to abdicate in two centuries.
In his first term as Emperor, he will inherit Japan's Imperial Treasures in a deeply symbolic ceremony.
The emperor in Japan has no political power, but represents a national symbol.
Emperor Akihito, 85, who decided on his age and health deficiency, resigned on Tuesday
"I hereby pray for the good and fortune of our country and the people of the world, "he said in his last speech.
The new imperial era "Reiwa", whose name means order and harmony, began at midnight local time and will last as long as Naruhito's government.
What will happen at the ceremony?
The Kenji-to-Shokei-no-gi ceremony or ceremony for the heir of the imperial regalia and seals begins at 10:15 am local time (1:15 GMT).
Naruhito, 59, receives three objects – a mirror, a sword, and a gemstone – which are passed down by generations of emperors and regarded as symbols of imperial power.
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He will then give his first address as the new emperor.
"In 1989, Akihito [ascended the throne] talked about social welfare and peace," said Ken Ruoff, director of Portland State University's Japan Studies Center, to the BBC.
These were targets that Emperor Akihito worked during his Heisei period and his interaction with those afflicted by illness or disaster made him popular with many Japanese.
"I think with Naruhito's first words we will have a good sense of what the new Emperor's plans will be. I think it will set the tone [of the new era]," said Professor Ruoff.
Emperor Akihito took on the role of diplomat during his reign, became an unofficial ambassador for Japan and traveled extensively to other countries – something that Naruhito expects.
What do we know about the new emperor?
Naruhito is the 126th Emperor in Japan. He attended Oxford University and became Crown Prince at the age of 28.
In 1986 he reportedly met his wife, Crown Princess Masako Owada. at a tea party. They married in 1993.
Princess Masako later told reporters that she accepted Naruhito's suggestion after saying, "You may have fears and worries about joining the imperial household, but I will protect you for my entire life."
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The princess, reportedly suffering from a stress disorder, admitted in December that she felt "insecure" when she became Empress, but assured her she would do her best do to serve the people of Japan.
Masako was educated at Harvard and Oxford and had a promising career as a diplomat before marrying.
The couple's only child, Princess Aiko, was born in 2001. However, Japan's current law restricts women to inherit the throne. She is not her father's heir.
Naruhito's brother, Prince Fumihito, will be the heir to the throne, followed by the nephew of the new emperor, 12-year-old Prince Hisahito.
Why is the Japanese monarchy important? 19659013] It is the oldest uninterrupted hereditary monarchy in the world. The legends go back to the year 600 BC. Back.
In fact, Japanese emperors were considered gods, but Hirohito, war emperor of the country, Naruhito's grandfather, publicly renounced his divinity as part of the Japanese war surrender at the end of World War II.
The role was redefined by Emperor Akihito, who helped to repair the reputation of Japan's reputation after the war.
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In 1991, two years after he had ascended the throne, Akihito and the Empress broke convention and knelt to speak with the people who were affected by a volcanic eruption in Nagasaki. After the earthquake, tsunami and meltdown in 2011, which killed thousands in eastern Japan, the former emperor and his wife Michiko were praised for comforting survivors.
Also her interactions with chronically ill people like leprosy, which were marginalized in Japan, were a marked departure from the past.
Akihito is now known as "Joko", which means "Great Emperor", and the English title "Emperor Emeritus", while Michiko becomes "Empress Emerita".