Abdication Law Approved By Japanese Parliament
The Upper House of the Japanese Parliament on Friday approved a special law that will allow Emperor Akihito, 83, to abdicate within the next three years. It was the final step in granting the Emperor’s wish to retire, after he made his desire known in a television broadcast last August.
It is expected the Emperor’s abdication will be set for December 2018, to coincide with his 85th birthday. It will be the first abdication of a Japanese Emperor in 200 years. Crown Prince Naruhito, the Emperor’s elder son, will then take the throne and usher in a new nengo (era).
During discussions over the bill, the Parliament also brought up potential changes to the strict male-only succession laws, which have been under much spotlight in recent years as there is only one heir in the next generation, the ten-year-old Prince Hisahito. His two elder sisters and his first cousin are unable to inherit the throne because they are female, and when they marry (Princess Mako is set to announce her engagement this summer), they will leave the Imperial Family.
There was talk of allowing female members of the family to create their own Imperial branches upon marriage; however, none of these discussions have gone further than talk as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has a Parliamentary majority, is said to not want to risk the ire of his most conservative supporters.Filed under Japan
Tagged Abdication, Emperor Akihito of Japan, Succession.