Beginning of Japan's Reiwa era

Naruhito may bring more global outlook to throne

Changes likely to be gradual to prevent shock to the system, say analysts

Princess Aiko with her parents, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako, arriving at her graduation ceremony at Gakushuin Girls' Junior High School in Tokyo in 2017. On Wednesday, Crown Prince Naruhito will succeed his father, Emperor Akihito
Princess Aiko with her parents, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako, arriving at her graduation ceremony at Gakushuin Girls' Junior High School in Tokyo in 2017. On Wednesday, Crown Prince Naruhito will succeed his father, Emperor Akihito, and ring in the Reiwa era.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Crown Prince Naruhito (second from right) before the enthronement ceremony of his father, Emperor Akihito, on Nov 12, 1990. Walking behind him are his brother, Prince Akishino; Crown Princess Masako; and Princess Nori.
Crown Prince Naruhito (second from right) before the enthronement ceremony of his father, Emperor Akihito, on Nov 12, 1990. Walking behind him are his brother, Prince Akishino; Crown Princess Masako; and Princess Nori.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Crown Prince Naruhito, who is educated at Oxford University and passionate about climate change issues, is likely to push the boundaries of the sedate, cloistered imperial family institution after he takes over as Emperor on Wednesday.

He and his wife, Crown Princess Masako, will bring a more global outlook to the throne, analysts say, being the first Emperor and Empress to have studied overseas.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 28, 2019, with the headline 'Naruhito may bring more global outlook to throne'. Subscribe