Emperor Akihito
Former emperor Akihito. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

The now-former Japanese emperor Akihito, 85, abdicated yesterday. This is the first time there has been an abdication for 200 years in Japan, the world's oldest monarchy. Akihito's son Naruhito, 59, ascends the Chrysanthemum Throne today as its 126th emperor.

Japan has all sorts of challenges and people are seeing the change of guard as an opportunity for, despite all its existing high-tech brilliance, further modernisation.