17 December 2017
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  • » 12/01/2017, 09.08


    Emperor Akihito will abdicate on April 30, 2019

    The Special Committee decided today. On December 8th Prince Naruhito should be confirmed as the next emperor. On December 23, Akihito will be 84 years old. It is the first abdication in 200 years.

    Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Emperor Akihito will abdicate on April 30, 2019. This is what has been decided today by the special committee to discuss fundamental issues regarding the imperial family. It is the first time in 200 years that an emperor is proclaimed while his predecessor is still alive.

    On December 8, the Council of the Imperial House, composed of legislators, magistrates and members of the House, will definitively approve the succession to the throne of Hereditary Prince Naruhito.

    The Emperor's abdication will end the Heisei era, currently in its 31st year. From 1 May 2019, Akihito will assume the title of "joko", abbreviation of "daijo tenno",  or retired sovereign.

    With the constitution in force since the Second World War, the Japanese emperor has ceased to be considered a deity and has assumed a limited symbolic role without power. The constitution, however, does not foresee the succession of a living emperor, which is why the Japanese government had to cope with the request of the sovereign with a specific norm that filled the legislative vacuum.

    On the throne since 1989, Akihito expressed his desire to step down in a video message broadcast in August 2016, arguing that he was no longer able to carry out his duties. He will be 84 years old on December 23, and has undergone heart surgery as well as treatment for prostate cancer.

    The last emperor to abdicate was Kokaku in 1817. In Japan, however, this is not an exceptional fact, but a return to the past: more than half of the 125 emperors have renounced the title while still alive.

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    See also

    19/05/2017 10:07:00 JAPAN
    Government approves law for the abdication of Emperor Akihito

    The law can only be used for this emperor. In all probability it will be approved by parliament by the end of June. Naruhito's new era is expected to begin with 2019. The imperial family has few members and few male children.     

    08/08/2016 12:53:00 JAPAN
    Tokyo, Emperor ready to abdicate: Increasingly difficult to perform my duties

    Akihito speaks on state television, never utters the word "resignation" but says: "I am old and my tasks are heavy, I fear not being able to fulfill them well”. The population supports him, but lawyers believe it would be "dangerous" to leave Chrysanthemum throne vacant.

    24/01/2017 13:12:00 JAPAN
    Towards a special law to allow the Emperor to abdicate

    The last abdication in the history of the country took place over 200 years ago. The emperor's desire and the lack of legislation on the subject. The indications of the commission established to deliberate. More than 90% of Japanese favors the Emperor’s wish. 2018-2019 may mark a new era for the Chrysanthemum Throne.


    03/02/2014 JAPAN
    Tokyo, for the first time in history, the Imperial Palace opens to visitors
    The structure, built on the ruins of Edo Castle , covers an area of 1.15 million square meters and has never been open to the public . The decision was made to celebrate the 80th birthday of Emperor Akihito, but according to some analysts, aims to revive the imperial figure ahead of succession.

    15/11/2013 JAPAN
    Revolution in Tokyo: Emperor, Empress to be cremated and buried in eco-friendly mausoleums
    Akihito and Michiko break with a 350-year-old tradition, choose to be buried in smaller mausoleums in less socially disruptive services. Meanwhile, the Japanese discuss the future of the imperial household.

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