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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 Cabinet Allows Emperor Akihito to Hand Over Throne to Crown Prince

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    The Japanese cabinet passed a bill allowing the nation’s Emperor Akihito to abdicate in favor of Crown Prince Naruhito.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — The Japanese cabinet passed a bill on Friday allowing the nation’s Emperor Akihito to abdicate due to old age in favor of Crown Prince Naruhito, local media reported.

    The bill is expected to be scrutinized by the parliament later in the day, the national Kyodo news agency reported.

    The existing law does not allow a living monarch to hand over the throne, but the 83-year-old emperor said in an address last August his health was failing and hinted he would like to pass the title on to his eldest son.

    This will be the first time a monarch has done so in Japan in two centuries. Local media reported previously Emperor Akihito could stand down in late 2018.

    Related:

    Japan’s Panel of Experts Launches Discussions on Emperor’s Possible Abdication
    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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