Emperor Akihito is set to abdicate at the end of Tuesday, bringing an end to the three-decade-long Heisei Era. His son, Crown Prince Naruhito, will ascend the throne immediately after.
Emperor Akihito's abdication ceremony will be held at the Imperial Palace in the early evening. The Prime Minister will convey gratitude to him on behalf of the public. The Emperor will then give his last words to the people in his current role. It will be the first time in over 200 years that a living Emperor will abdicate.
A departure ceremony for two senior Self-Defense Force officials was held at Japan's Cabinet Office on Tuesday. They are leaving on a multinational peacekeeping mission in the Sinai Peninsula.
This will be the first time for Japan to take part in such an operation outside the UN framework. Security legislation that was enacted in 2015 enables the country to do so.
The Japanese government has officially decided to hold Emperor Akihito's abdication ceremony on April 30 as an act of state stipulated under the Constitution.
The decision over one of the ceremonies related to the Imperial succession was made at a Cabinet meeting on Friday. The abdication ceremony will be the first of its kind in the history of Japan's Constitution.
The Japanese government aircraft will be taken out of service at the end of this month. A ceremony was held on Sunday to mark the switch to the new planes.
The two Boeing 747-400s have been in service for more than 20 years. They were used for overseas trips by the Emperor and the prime minister, and have flown to 100 countries and regions around the world.
A junior high school in a village near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has held its first graduation ceremony since resuming classes after the lifting of an evacuation order there. The order was issued after the plant's nuclear accident resulting from the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Iitate Junior High School was forced to operate in Fukushima City after the March 11 accident, as the entire Iitate Village was subject to the evacuation order. The school reopened there last April after the order was lifted for most of the village. The disaster occurred on the day of the school's graduation ceremony that year.
A ceremony to commemorate victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan in 2011 was held on Sunday in the city of Iwaki in Fukushima Prefecture.
The tsunami washed away more than 400 homes in the city's Toyoma district on March 11th, 2011. Seventy-six people died, and seven are still unaccounted for.