Under the Japanese Constitution, the Emperor is the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people. He has no powers related to government. Emperor Akihito took the throne as the 125th Emperor of Japan in 1989.
Members of the Imperial Family receive state guests from other countries and make overseas visits. Through these and other activities, they fulfill an important role in promoting international friendship.
Members of the Imperial Family also maintain wide contact with Japanese citizens through their attendance at various events across the nation and visits to facilities including those for the handicapped and the aged. They are widely respected by Japanese people.
The Imperial Family of Japan. Seated, from left: Crown Princess Masako, Crown Prince Naruhito, Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, Prince Akishino, Prince Hisahito, and Princess Akishino. Standing, from left: Princess Mako, Princess Aiko and Princess Kako.
(January 2014 Imperial Household Agency)