Calls for Spring 2019 Emperor Abdication Growing Within Agency (News)


Tokyo, Aug. 11 (Jiji Press)—Since Japan's Emperor Akihito signaled his wish to abdicate a year ago, an increasing number of officials at the Imperial Household Agency have come to believe it best for him to step down in spring 2019.

The idea is in contrast to when the calendar changes from 2018 to 2019, an option believed to be considered by the government.

Agency officials are concerned that the New Year period is crowded with ceremonies and other events performed by the Imperial Family.

In a rare broadcast, made on August 8, 2016, the Emperor expressed his willingness to hand the Chrysanthemum Throne to Crown Prince Naruhito, his eldest son, citing his advancing age and declining physical strength.

In response to the message, Japan's parliament enacted government-sponsored special legislation in June to allow Emperor Akihito, now 83, to abdicate, paving the way for the first succession from a living Emperor in about 200 years.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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