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    Japan's Emperor Akihito's waves to well-wishers who gathered at the Imperial Palace to mark his 82nd birthday in Tokyo, Japan

    Japan's Imperial Household Refutes Reports of Emperor's Abdication

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    The Imperial Household Agency on Wednesday refuted media reports that Japanese Emperor Akihito intents to abdicate.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, media outlets cited a source in the Japanese government as saying that 82-year old Akihito had voiced his intention to abdicate after 27 years on the throne.

    "We are aware about such reports, but they are not true completely," the agency's vice grand steward, Shinichiro Yamamoto, was quoted as saying by Kyodo News.

    Akihito ascended to the Japanese throne in 1989 after Emperor Hirohito's death. A merely ceremonial role in Japan's political system, the emperor is a symbol of the nation and of national unity according to the Japanese Constitution.

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    death, constitution, Hirohito, Japan
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