Kristin Roebuck, assistant professor and Howard Milstein Faculty Fellow in the Department of History, talks about the decision of the Japanese emperor to abdicate the throne in this opinion piece in The Hill.
"It is a significant changing of the guard," Roebuck writes. "Akihito was born the year Adolf Hilter came to power in 1933. He lived through Japan's staggering defeat and subsequent foreign occupation. Since succeeding his father, Hirohito, to the throne in 1989, Akihito has used his position to remind domestic and foreign audiences of the preciousness of peace and the catastrophe of war. He warns of an encroaching global amnesia as survivors of the last world war die away and younger politicians and voters, blissfully inexperienced in total war, take over."