Japanese gov’t plans to prepare legal framework for Emperor’s abdication
TOKYO, Oct. 18 (PNA/Sputnik) — The Japanese government plans to carry out legal preparations for the abdication of Emperor Akihito by 2018, local media reported Tuesday, citing a government source.
The government is attempting to pass a special legislation solely for Akihito’s abdication 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 fulfill official duties due to his age. Abdication is not stipulated in 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 the Japanese population support the idea of the emperor’s abdication.
Akihito ascended to the Japanese throne in 1989 after Emperor Hirohito’s death. According to the Japanese Constitution, the 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 a male-only succession system.