Japan: Emperor Akihito set to abdicate in April 2019

Dec 02, 2017, 00:42
Japan: Emperor Akihito set to abdicate in April 2019

Akihito, who turns 84 on December 23 and has had heart surgery and treatment for prostate cancer, said in rare remarks past year that he feared age might make it hard to fulfil his duties.

"This is the first abdication by an emperor in 200 years and the first under the (post-war) constitution", Abe told reporters after announcing the results of the panel's discussion.

Japan's octogenarian Emperor Akihito will cede the throne on April 30, 2019, with Crown Prince Naruhito succeeding him the following day, the prime minister said Friday. On Friday in the country gathered for the special meeting of the Board of the Imperial house, members of Parliament and members of the Japanese Imperial family to determine the date of renunciation. According to the Japanese Constitution, the emperor has a merely ceremonial role, being a symbol of the nation and of national unity.

The octogenarian Akihito will be succeeded by his heir, 57-year-old Crown Prince Naruhito. The Japanese Parliament in June 2017 allowed the Emperor to abdicate. Naruhito's daughter, Princess Aiko, who turns 16 on Friday, can not inherit the males-only throne.

Emperor Akihito, who has spent much of his almost three decades on the throne seeking to soothe the wounds of World War Two, is deeply admired and respected in Japan which once considered its emperor to be divine.

TOKYO: Emperor Akihito will hand over all public duties to his heir after retiring in what will be Japan's first abdication in almost two centuries, the monarch's younger son said, responding to worries a former emperor might weaken his successor's status.