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Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko

The enduring value of Japan’s emperor

Though Japan’s emperor holds no political power, he is much more than a figurehead: he is an essential part of Japan’s social contract. The monarchy has provided important stability and unifies the country’s social structure. With Japan facing several serious challenges, its new emperor will play a key role in speaking for the people and influencing crucial policy decisions.

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