Japan's new emperor Naruhito: A cosmopolitan team player

Japan's future new emperor is a musician and historian who is expected to bring a global perspective to an ancient institution when he ascends the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1.

The 59-year-old Naruhito will be Japan's first emperor to have studied abroad and will enjoy greater liberty in shaping his own role than his father.

Japan's constitution limits the emperor to a symbolic role, and Naruhito is likely to emulate his father, 85-year-old Akihito.

Akihito chose to end his three-decade reign by abdicating April 30.

In an annual news conference ahead of his Feb. 23 birthday, Naruhito said he was open to taking up a new role that "suits the times."