Japan’s Emperor Naruhito (second left), Empress Masako (second right), Crown Prince Fumihito (left) and Crown Princess Kiko (right) wave to well-wishers gathered at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on May 4. It was the emperor's first public appearance since his enthronement on May 1. Photo: Kyodo Japan’s Emperor Naruhito (second left), Empress Masako (second right), Crown Prince Fumihito (left) and Crown Princess Kiko (right) wave to well-wishers gathered at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on May 4. It was the emperor's first public appearance since his enthronement on May 1. Photo: Kyodo
Japan’s Emperor Naruhito (second left), Empress Masako (second right), Crown Prince Fumihito (left) and Crown Princess Kiko (right) wave to well-wishers gathered at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on May 4. It was the emperor's first public appearance since his enthronement on May 1. Photo: Kyodo
Kevin Rafferty
Opinion

Opinion

Kevin Rafferty

Japan, under a new emperor, still can’t put to rest its wartime ghosts

  • Japan has a new emperor, Naruhito, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is still in charge. Abe is not only determined to amend Japan’s pacifist constitution but has also put his faith in US President Donald Trump

Japan’s Emperor Naruhito (second left), Empress Masako (second right), Crown Prince Fumihito (left) and Crown Princess Kiko (right) wave to well-wishers gathered at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on May 4. It was the emperor's first public appearance since his enthronement on May 1. Photo: Kyodo Japan’s Emperor Naruhito (second left), Empress Masako (second right), Crown Prince Fumihito (left) and Crown Princess Kiko (right) wave to well-wishers gathered at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on May 4. It was the emperor's first public appearance since his enthronement on May 1. Photo: Kyodo
Japan’s Emperor Naruhito (second left), Empress Masako (second right), Crown Prince Fumihito (left) and Crown Princess Kiko (right) wave to well-wishers gathered at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on May 4. It was the emperor's first public appearance since his enthronement on May 1. Photo: Kyodo
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Kevin Rafferty

Kevin Rafferty

Kevin Rafferty, a journalist for 50 years, started writing about cricket and football for The Observer when at Oxford University. He joined the foreign staff of the Financial Times, was in charge of the FT’s Asian coverage, and opened the paper’s first Hong Kong office. He has lived and worked in Delhi, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Osaka, and Washington, and edited daily papers in 30 major cities during IMF and multilateral development bank meetings. He was professor in the Institute for Academic Initiatives at Osaka University.