Emperor Akihito
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Japan's Emperor Akihito hints he will abdicate

Japan's elderly Emperor Akihito has been telling the public in a rare national address that his age and health is making it hard for him to carry out his duties fully.

Akihito, who has had heart surgery and been treated for prostate cancer, did not say explicitly say that he wants to abdicate, but this is understood to be because he is constitutionally barred from discussing political matters.

In recent years, he has been cutting back on his royal duties, his place taken by his heir, Crown Prince Naruhito, there would need to be a change in the law for him to now accede.

  • 08 Aug 2016
  • From the section Asia
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