Emperor Akihito abdicated on Tuesday, having sat on the Chrysanthemum Throne since 1989. At the age of 85, the now-emperor emeritus seemingly wishes to live in quiet retirement with Empress Emerita Michiko, his wife of 60 years. He’s being succeeded by his elder son, Emperor Naruhito.

Emperor Akihito’s reign began upon the death of his father, Emperor Hirohito, whose life had spanned decades of domestic and international turmoil. Although Emperor Akihito himself came of age during the tumultuous era of World War II and the Cold War, both Japan and the world had changed significantly by the time he became emperor. And he is likely to be remembered as a monarch who made a positive mark on the global stage.

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