Poll Indicates Japanese Population Support Emperor’s Desire to Step Down

  September 14, 2016 at 4:14 am by

A poll conducted over the weekend by Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun has shown that the majority of those surveyed support legislation changes allowing the nation’s Emperors to be able to abdicate.

76% of the over 2,000 valid responses taken said they believe  an “arrangement should be instituted to allow any emperor to step down” – while the number in favour rose to 91% when asked specifically about the current Emperor, Akihito, being allowed to step down.

Emperor Akihito expressed his desire to retire in August during a video address to the nation. He said he was “concerned” that his declining health would make it difficult for him to carry out his duties as Emperor.

The Government has conceded it is “looking into” possible changes.

The survey also found that 72% of the respondents were supportive of changes to the Imperial House Law regarding the male-only succession, to allow females to take the throne. Legislation to change the succession was shelved in 2006 upon the birth of the Emperor’s only grandson, Prince Hisahito.

Emperor Akihito, January 2015

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