Japan cabinet approves bill to allow Emperor Akihito to abdicate

19 May

In recent years, the emperor has scaled back his public appearances, but has appeared increasingly frail. His public statement of his desire to step down immediately won the support of the vast majority of Japanese, who still revere a man who took over the position after the death of his own father, Emperor Hirohito, in January 1989.

The Japanese government was effectively forced to make revisions to the terms of the Imperial Household Law as it was set down in 1889 in order to permit Emperor Akihito to abdicate. The announcement of Friday’s decision expressed “understanding” and “sympathy” for the “deep  concern” that the emperor revealed in his televised address about becoming unable to carry out his official duties.

The legislation has been framed, however, as a one-off decision and will not apply to any future emperors who wish to abdicate.

Crown Prince Naruhito, 57, studied partly at Merton College, Oxford, and will become the 126th emperor of Japan. He has no male heirs.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply