On May 1, 2019, the Ceremony for Inheriting the Imperial Regalia and Seals (Kenji-to-Shokei-no-gi) was conducted in the State Room of the Imperial Palace, by virtue of which His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince acceded to the Throne as the 126th Emperor of Japan. Following the Ceremony, the First Audience after the Accession to the Throne (Sokui-go-Choken-no-gi) was held, in which His Majesty the Emperor received in audience the representatives of the people of Japan.
Upon the accession of His Majesty the Emperor, the new Japanese era “Reiwa” commenced on May 1, 2019. “Reiwa” literally means “beautiful harmony”, but it also contains the meaning of “culture coming into being and flourishing when people bring their hearts and minds together in a beautiful manner”.
On April 30, 2019, a day before the Accession, the Ceremony of the Abdication of His Majesty the Emperor (Taiirei-Seiden-no-gi) was conducted, during which His Majesty the Emperor announced the abdication to the people and received in audience the representatives of the people for the last time before the abdication.