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Akihito and the Sorrows of JapanRichard Lloyd Parry
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Akihito and the Sorrows of Japan

Richard Lloyd Parry

Akihito, who abdicated in April, was a paradoxical figure: a hereditary monarch, the son of the wartime emperor, Hirohito, strictly barred from political utterance, who even so stood out against the historical revisionism of the nationalist right. Richard Lloyd Parry considers the former emperor’s part in the intellectual and political debate over Japan’s wartime record, and its history of apology – or non-apology – for its conduct in East Asia.

Richard Lloyd Parry delivered his LRB Winter Lecture at the British Museum on 28 February 2020.

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