At an elaborate ceremony attended by VIPs from around the world, Emperor Naruhito of Japan officially ascended the throne.
Spectators have described the rare glimpse of the emperor and empress as a "historical moment." Japan's hereditary monarchy is believed to be the oldest in the world, dating back millennia.
The reign of Japan's 126th emperor, Naruhito, has begun following a series of ancient ceremonies at the Imperial Palace. He succeeded his father, who became the first emperor to abdicate in over two centuries.
Increasing costs are pushing the two countries to end their trade dispute and disagreements over historical treaties. Despite the dawn of a new imperial era, damaged mutual trust could prove a hindrance to an agreement.
Japan's newly crowned emperor, Naruhito, has said he wants to continue the work of his father in bringing the monarchy closer to the people. But he faces personal and public challenges. Martin Fritz reports.
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