Japan has entered an era that is unprecedented in modern history. It now has a reigning Emperor, as well as an Emperor who has abdicated, at the same time. The Emperor who has abdicated is now called “Joko,” or the Emperor Emeritus.
The Emperor will perform, as his father has done, “acts in matters of state” stipulated in the Constitution. They include appointing the prime minister chosen by lawmakers, convening the Diet and awarding honors.
On top of those duties, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako will likely take over the other activities of the Imperial Couple following the abdication. They include visiting disaster-hit regions to console the victims, commemorating the war-dead in World War Two across the Asia Pacific region, and meeting people with disabilities throughout Japan.