Japan’s Emperor Akihito (right) and Crown Prince Naruhito wave to the crowd at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on January 2, after the emperor delivered his final New Year’s address. Photo: AFP Japan’s Emperor Akihito (right) and Crown Prince Naruhito wave to the crowd at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on January 2, after the emperor delivered his final New Year’s address. Photo: AFP
Japan’s Emperor Akihito (right) and Crown Prince Naruhito wave to the crowd at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on January 2, after the emperor delivered his final New Year’s address. Photo: AFP
Jeff Kingston
Opinion

Opinion

Jeff Kingston

When Japan’s Emperor Akihito steps down, will his pacifist legacy persist despite resurgent nationalism?

  • The Japanese emperor, who will abdicate in favour of his son Naruhito, was the nation’s chief emissary of post-war reconciliation in Asia. His pacifist leanings have been at odds with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s revisionist view of history

Japan’s Emperor Akihito (right) and Crown Prince Naruhito wave to the crowd at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on January 2, after the emperor delivered his final New Year’s address. Photo: AFP Japan’s Emperor Akihito (right) and Crown Prince Naruhito wave to the crowd at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on January 2, after the emperor delivered his final New Year’s address. Photo: AFP
Japan’s Emperor Akihito (right) and Crown Prince Naruhito wave to the crowd at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on January 2, after the emperor delivered his final New Year’s address. Photo: AFP
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Jeff Kingston

Jeff Kingston

Jeff Kingston is director of Asian Studies at Temple University, Japan. Most recently, he co-edited "Japan’s Foreign Relations with Asia" (2018) and edited "Press Freedom in Contemporary Japan" (2017). His latest monograph is "Nationalism in Asia: A History Since 1945".