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chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-04-27 06:40
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Japan will get a new emperor on May 1

Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito, left, and Crown Princess Masako, right, smile at their residence Togu Palace in Tokyo in this handout picture taken on February 17, 2019, and provided by the Imperial Household Agency of Japan. [Photo/Agencies]

Japan is gearing up to welcome a new emperor after its current one, Akihito, said he wanted to step down — the country's first abdication in some 200 years.

Akihito's son, Crown Prince Naruhito, will succeed his father on the throne on May 1, 2019.

The 59-year-old, who was educated in Tokyo and Oxford, is a keen historian, water transportation researcher, and memoirist. He has spoken out on environmental issues for decades.

He and his wife, Masako, have also openly discussed their struggles with mental health and the pressure to produce a male heir — providing the Japanese society a rare, frank glimpse into their lives.

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