A ceremony to mark the abdication of Emperor Akihito has been held at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. He is set to abdicate at the end of Tuesday -- bringing an end to the Heisei era.
At the ceremony, the Emperor gave his final speech to the people in his current role.
Emperor Akihito said, "Since ascending the throne 30 years ago, I have performed my duties as the Emperor with a deep sense of trust in and respect for the people, and I consider myself most fortunate to have been able to do so. I sincerely thank the people who accepted and supported me in my role as the symbol of the State."