Landmark Law Allowing Emperor Abdication Enacted in Japan (News)
Tokyo, June 9 (Jiji Press)—Japan's parliament enacted on Friday government-sponsored special legislation to allow Emperor Akihito to step down, paving the way for the first succession from a living emperor in about 200 years in the country.
At a plenary meeting of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber, the abdication bill, which applies only to the current Emperor, was approved with support from all parties except the small opposition Liberal Party, which was absent from the voting.
The government is considering setting the date of Emperor Akihito's abdication and the accession of his eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito, to the Chrysanthemum Throne in late December 2018 and changing the era name from the current "Heisei" on January 1, 2019.
Emperor Akihito will be the first to relinquish the throne while alive since Emperor Kōkaku stepped down in 1817.
Under the defunct 1889 Imperial House Law and the current law, established in 1947 to govern the status of the Emperor and other Imperial Family affairs, Imperial succession has been limited to when the incumbent passes away.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]