03:49 GMT +319 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

    Japan's Experts Panel Supports One-Off Case of Emperor's Abdication

    © REUTERS / Thomas Peter
    Asia & Pacific
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    A panel of experts set up by the Japanese government to discuss the potential abdication of Emperor Akihito declared on Monday that this one case could be applying only to him but not to future rulers, media reported.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the Kyodo news agency, the decision was approved by the panel after holding nine meetings. The experts stressed that there should be a "flexible" approach to such a sensitive issue every time it would arise in the future.

    Some of the experts also expressed fears that "it would be difficult to create a system that would prevent a situation in which the Emperor would have to abdicate against his will, being under pressure from the government."

    The issue is set to be discussed now by the Japanese government, which could then submit a bill making the abdication possible, as current laws prohibit abdication before an emperor's death.

    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 of becoming unable to fulfill official duties due to his age.

    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.

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