Former Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko stepped down on Tuesday after three decades as the nation’s top royals in a brief, simple ceremony, with Akihito thanking the people of Japan and saying he prayed for peace.Japanese Emperor Naruhito formally took up his post on Wednesday a day after the abdication of his father, saying he felt a “sense of solemnity” .
Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe said Japan looked up to the emperor. “We are determined to create, amidst the fast-changing international environment, a bright future for a proud Japan that is peaceful and full of hope,” he added. US President Donald Trump, “As the Japanese people embark upon a new era, we will renew the strong bonds of friendship between our two countries,” he said in a statement.
Chinese President Xi Jinping also sent congratulations, reported state news agency Xinhua.
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