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Japan Eyes Crown Prince’s Accession to Throne at Start of 2019 (News)

Tokyo, Jan. 11 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government is considering setting the date of Crown Prince Naruhito's accession to the imperial throne and the beginning of a new Japanese era for January 1, 2019, informed sources said Wednesday. The imperial family (from left to right, Crown Prince Naruhito, Emperor Akihito, Crown Princess Masako, and Empress Michiko) gathers on the balcony of the Imp…
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9 of 16 Experts Positive about Emperor’s Abdication (News)

Tokyo, Nov. 30 (Jiji Press)--Nine of the 16 summoned experts took positive positions on Japanese Emperor Akihito's possible abdication, in a series of three hearing sessions on the matter a government advisory panel ended on Wednesday. Of the nine experts, four called for establishing a permanent system for Imperial abdication while five sought to enact a special abdication law applicable only…
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Over 80% Back Reduction of Emperor’s Official Duties (News)

Tokyo, Nov. 17 (Jiji Press)—Over 80% of Japanese people think that Emperor Akihito's burden of official duties should be reduced, a Jiji Press opinion poll showed Thursday. According to the survey, 70.9% of respondents said the Emperor's public activities should be reduced. In addition, 11.5% said that public activities should be eliminated in principal and that his duties should be limited to …
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Three Experts Oppose Emperor’s Possible Abdication, Two Others in Favor (News)

Tokyo, Nov. 14 (Jiji Press)—Three of six experts at a government panel meeting on Monday expressed their opposition to Japanese Emperor Akihito's possible abdication. At the second hearing by the panel, one of the three remaining experts indicated a cautious view on allowing the Emperor to step down while the two others supported abdication. At the first hearing, held last week, two conserv…
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Talking About The Emperor in JapaneseRichard Medhurst

When service assistants talk to customers in Japan, they show courtesy by using honorific language, known as keigo. If the customer is king, appropriate deference is required. A discrepancy in rank—whether in a brief service interaction or within a company—brings into play different vocabulary than that used in casual, everyday conversation. It can take time even for a Japanese graduate new to t…
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Timeline for October 2016

Ōsumi Yoshinori wins a Nobel Prize, a powerful earthquake rocks Tottori, and the oldest member of the imperial family passes away. Read on to learn what happened in Japan in October 2016.
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Emperor Should Have Right to RetireTase Yasuhiro

In a video message that was broadcast across Japan, Emperor Akihito expressed a desire to abdicate in favor of his son Crown Prince Naruhito. I have watched that video message many times, and also read through the transcript. Over the nearly half century I have spent as a political journalist, I have heard many addresses delivered by leaders, but I had never heard a message delivered so succinct…
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Abdication and the Japanese Emperor as a Pacifist SymbolIwai Katsumi

Following Emperor Akihito’s expressed desire to abdicate, long-time royal watcher Iwai Katsumi examines the emperor’s role as a symbol of a pacifist country.
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Abdication: The Emperor’s Wish and Prospects for Its RealizationTokoro Isao

It has recently been reported that Emperor Akihito, now 82, wishes to abdicate within the next few years. The government is expected to soon start seriously deliberating this issue with a view to realizing the emperor’s wish.
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Emperor Akihito Addresses Nation Following Abdication Reports

Following recent reports of his wish to abdicate, Emperor Akihito addressed the Japanese public in a video message broadcast on August 8, 2016. In his message, the second delivered during his reign, the emperor spoke of his role as a symbol of the state and his hopes for that role going forward. In the pre-recorded 10-minute speech, the emperor talked of how he had spent his days “searching f…
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