Japan's Emperor plans to step down in near future


Emperor Akihito makes his plans known

In a report from the NHK today, it was said that Japanese Emperor Akihito may abdicate his role in the next few years and pass along the title to his son, Crown Prince Naruhito. The reports state that Akihito wishes not to be Emperor if he has to reduce his duties in the role due to health and age. The 82-year-old mentioned his advancing age in recent years, and he has said that the Imperial Household Agency suggested that he cut back on his schedule.

Interestingly, Japan has no official procedure in place of a living monarch to pass the role over to anyone. The last time a living Emperor abdicated the role was in 1817 when Emperor Kokaku stepped down from the role at the age of 69 to give it to his fourth son Emperor Ninko. If Akihito indeed goes through with his plan, it is expected that the Japanese Diet will hold some kind of meeting or vote to make such a succession legal and form some kind of official process for such an event.

In modern times, the role of Emperor of Japan is largely a ceremonial one, a byproduct of the Allies victory over Japan in World War II. Most government power in Japan rests with the Prime Minister and the Diet. The Emperor largely received foreign dignitaries and awards medals of honor, along with representing Japan in speeches to his country and other around the world.

Akihito has been in the position since 1989 when his father, Hirohito, died after a battle with cancer. Between the father and son, they have been in power since Christmas Day, 1926, nearing close to 90 years! Hirohito was the last living ruler from World War II when he passed away.

[via Japan Today]

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Soul Tsukino
Soul TsukinoContributor   gamer profile

Soul Tsukino lives in the state of Maine. When not enveloping himself in a new fiction story he also comments on happenings in the animation and Otaku fan scene. A creative writer since he was yo... more + disclosures



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