The life and reign of Japan's Emperor Akihito

Insight looks at how Japan's Emperor Akihito has shaped the monarchy in his 30-year reign over a period of peace in his country and reconciliation abroad. We also look back at his visit to Singapore as Crown Prince in 1970 - and to Japan's future with his successor, Crown Prince Naruhito.

(Left to right) Japan's Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako, attending an autumn garden party at Akasaka Palace Imperial garden in Tokyo, Japan, on Nov 9, 2018.
(Left to right) Japan's Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako, attending an autumn garden party at Akasaka Palace Imperial garden in Tokyo, Japan, on Nov 9, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

In his debut address to the Japanese public after he ascended the throne in 1989, Emperor Akihito pledged to work "together with you to preserve the Constitution of Japan".

Thirty years later, Japan finds itself at a constitutional crossroads as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes no secret of his desire to revise the war-renouncing supreme law of the land.

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