03:31 GMT +321 September 2019
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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

    Japanese Gov't Plans to Prepare Legal Framework for Emperor’s Abdication

    © REUTERS / Thomas Peter
    Asia & Pacific
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    Japanese government plans to carry out legal preparations for the abdication of Emperor Akihito by 2018, local media reported Tuesday, citing a government source.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — The government was attempting to pass a special legislation solely for Akihito’s abdication in order  to meet the request of the aging emperor, the source added as cited by the Kyodo news agency.

    The 82-year-old emperor hinted at his readiness to renounce the throne in a rare video message to the public in August, expressing his concern to become unable to fulfil official duties due to his age. Abdication is not stipulated by the Imperial Household Act of 1947, under which the throne passes on only after the death of an emperor.

    According to polls, about 80 percent of Japanese population supports the idea of emperor's abdication.

    Akihito ascended to the Japanese throne in 1989 after Emperor Hirohito's death. According to the Japanese Constitution, emperor has a merely ceremonial role, being a symbol of the nation and of national unity. Akihito has two sons — Crown Prince Naruhito and Akishino — who are first and second in line to become Japan's emperor under male-only succession system.

    Related:

    Japanese Prime Minister Urges Gov't to Consider Emperor's Concern Over Age
    Japan’s Emperor Akihito Worried by Ability to Fulfill Duties in Future
    ‘Graceful Exit’: Japan’s Emperor Wants to Abdicate, But It’s Not That Easy
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    abdication, Emperor Akihito, Japan
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