May 1, 2019 / 12:05 AM / 21 days ago

Factbox - Japanese hope new Reiwa era brings peace, prosperity

A huge banner and screen celebrating Reiwa, Japan's new imperial era, are displayed on the first day of the Emperor Naruhito’s accession to the throne at a business district in Tokyo, Japan May 1, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) - New Japanese Emperor Naruhito was to be formally invested on Wednesday after his father, Akihito, abdicated the day before. Wednesday is the start of a new imperial era, Reiwa, following the end of the three-decade Heisei era under Akihito.

Below are some comments by ordinary Japanese.

- “The Heisei era was an era in which we did not take part in war and I’d like Reiwa to be the same - a world without war,” said Kazue Miaji, 67, standing outside a shop in downtown Tokyo. “And I would like the new emperor to take over the same thoughts as the Heisei emperor, to be close to the people.”

- “The curtain has gone up on a new era that will be filled with hope,” said Hiroshi Takahashi, 78, outside his ‘wagashi’ traditional Japanese sweets shop. “It would be good if the world becomes bright, the economy is good and there is a beautiful feeling.

“The new emperor has an admirable personality and I hope he creates a fine royal household that expresses his own personality.”

- “I want it to be a world that is peaceful and I’d like the economy to improve,” said salaryman Shigeru Yoshizawa, waiting near a subway station in Tokyo. “I’d like the new emperor to be a symbol in the same way (as his father).”

Reporting by Linda Sieg; editing by Richard Pullin

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