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  HOME | Society (Click here for more)

Japanese Emperor Akihito to Talk about Future Abdication on TV

TOKYO - Japan's Emperor Akihito is expected to talk about his future abdication through a televised message - his second such address to the nation since assuming the Chrysanthemum Throne in 1990 - on Monday.

Akihito will speak for 10 minutes in a pre-recorded video that will broadcast at 3 p.m. and where he is expected to reflect on his functions as the symbolic head of the Japanese State and his concerns over fulfilling his obligations in the future.

The message was recorded on Aug. 7, Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported Monday.

On June 13, public broadcaster NHK had reported that the 82-year-old emperor was planning to abdicate in favor of his eldest son, Naruhito, 56.

However, since the current Japanese Constitution has no provisions for living succession and the current law of succession will require an amendment if the succession is to take place, the Emperor would avoid directly talking about it and merely propose it as an intention to the public.

The Japanese Emperor's health has been deteriorating since he suffered from prostate cancer in 2003 after receiving hormonal therapy to treat his osteoporosis, and a coronary bypass surgery in 2012.

Because of his age and failing health, Japanese public opinion has in recent years favored the possibility of reducing the workload of Akihito, who has already delegated some of his official duties to his son Naruhito.

The monarch has only appeared on television to address the nation once before on March 16, 2011, following an earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country's northeast and triggered the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

 

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