The international media are using the start of Japan’s new era to look closely at the role of the Emperor.
Reporters are interested in the words and gestures used by Emperor Akihito both during his reign and in his abdication ceremony.
He was deeply committed to peace but was he a pacifist?
And how was he seen by Japan’s neighbours, China and South Korea?
You can read more in this week’s Japan Story blog.
Photo credit to MIKI Yoshihito