Abdication of Japan's emperor moves a step closer

By REUTERS
June 2, 2017 09:18
1 minute read.
Breaking news

Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

TOKYO- Japanese Emperor Akihito's abdication moved a step closer on Friday when the lower house of parliament approved a bill paving the way for the first such abdication in nearly two centuries.

Akihito, 83, who has had heart surgery and treatment for prostate cancer, said in rare public remarks last year he feared age might make it hard for him to fulfill his duties.

Akihito, the first Japanese emperor who was never considered divine, has worked for decades to soothe the wounds at home and abroad of World War Two, fought in his father Hirohito's name. He will be succeeded by Crown Prince Naruhito, 57.

The law passed the more powerful lower house with just a handful of dissenting votes and now goes to the upper house, with the intention of getting it passed before the current session of parliament ends in several weeks.

"I hope that the lower house today, and the upper house in days to come, will take this up in such a fashion that we can expect it to pass speedily," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference prior to the vote.

While no definite plan for an abdication has been confirmed, media have said it will likely take place in late 2018, which would mark nearly 30 full years on the throne for the emperor.

The last time an emperor stepped down was in 1817. The bill is one-off legislation that would allow only Akihito to step down, with no provisions for future emperors.

In a move to deal with a shortage of male heirs and the shrinking number of imperial family members, the bill also included a resolution calling for debate on allowing women to stay in the Imperial family even after their marriage. Current law mandates that they leave.

Both allowing them to stay and the controversial issue of changing the system to allow female inheritance have been suggested as a way of dealing with the shrinking pool of royals, an issue highlighted last month with the announcement that the Emperor's oldest granddaughter will marry a commoner.

Related Content

Breaking news
August 16, 2018
Police tell residents of W. Bank settlement to remain at home for security incident

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF