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  #121  
Old 08-08-2016, 03:14 AM
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The live broadcast just ended. Basically, I think he said that he's already over 80 years of age and underwent surgeries and it's difficult for him to carry out his duties as the emperor and he asked the Japanese people to be understanding of his condition, etc.

So he didn't announce abdication outright, but it's pretty obvious that he's planning to abdicate very soon.
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  #122  
Old 08-08-2016, 03:22 AM
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Video of Emperor Akihito's speech at Asahi

Google translation until the official English version is released.
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  #123  
Old 08-08-2016, 03:22 AM
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He's got to do what he's got to do.
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  #124  
Old 08-08-2016, 03:33 AM
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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to issue a statement shortly.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-37007106
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  #125  
Old 08-08-2016, 03:40 AM
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Emperor delivers rare video-recorded address to public | The Japan Times
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  #126  
Old 08-08-2016, 03:55 AM
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Full Text of Emperor Akihito's Video Message - WSJ

ETA: WSJ sometimes requires subscription, here's a BBC link to the official translation.
Japanese Emperor Akihito's address in full - BBC News
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  #127  
Old 08-08-2016, 04:05 AM
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Japan's Emperor Akihito hints at wish to abdicate

Japan's Emperor Akihito has said he fears age and deteriorating health mean he is finding it difficult to continue in his role.
The revered 82-year-old emperor's comments came in his second-ever televised address to the public.
There is no legal provision for abdication in Japanese law. A change in law would be required to allow the emperor to stand down.
PM Shinzo Abe said the government would "robustly" discuss the issue.
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  #128  
Old 08-08-2016, 04:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christythedreamer View Post
The live broadcast just ended. Basically, I think he said that he's already over 80 years of age and underwent surgeries and it's difficult for him to carry out his duties as the emperor and he asked the Japanese people to be understanding of his condition, etc.

So he didn't announce abdication outright, but it's pretty obvious that he's planning to abdicate very soon.
Indeed,and a very wise decision too.

It just needs adjustment of the Imperial Law,which means it will take a few more years before the Emperor can Abdicate.An advisory commission will be installed and eventually they will advice Parliament on the matter.Typical...the IHA pulls all the strings,not HM The Emperor,a virtual prisoner of the IHA..
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  #129  
Old 08-08-2016, 06:53 AM
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I think that the Emperor wants to give up, but it's against the law. Probably the Prince Naruhito will stay as Regent.
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  #130  
Old 08-08-2016, 07:45 AM
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If it's not legal to abdicate and the emperor feels like his health won't let him to his duties, is it easier to just set up a regency with the Crown Prince as regent instead of trying to a pass a law?


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  #131  
Old 08-08-2016, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
Full Text of Emperor Akihito's Video Message - WSJ

ETA: WSJ sometimes requires subscription, here's a BBC link to the official translation.
Japanese Emperor Akihito's address in full - BBC News
Thanks, Prisma.

The official translation and video have been uploaded to the IHA website.
Message from His Majesty The Emperor : Message from His Majesty The Emperor(August 8, 2016) (video) - The Imperial Household Agency

Quote:
Message from His Majesty The Emperor (August 8, 2016)

A major milestone year marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II has passed, and in two years we will be welcoming the 30th year of Heisei.

As I am now more than 80 years old and there are times when I feel various constraints such as in my physical fitness, in the last few years I have started to reflect on my years as the Emperor, and contemplate on my role and my duties as the Emperor in the days to come.

As we are in the midst of a rapidly aging society, I would like to talk to you today about what would be a desirable role of the Emperor in a time when the Emperor, too, becomes advanced in age. While, being in the position of the Emperor, I must refrain from making any specific comments on the existing Imperial system, I would like to tell you what I, as an individual, have been thinking about.

Ever since my accession to the throne, I have carried out the acts of the Emperor in matters of state, and at the same time I have spent my days searching for and contemplating on what is the desirable role of the Emperor, who is designated to be the symbol of the State by the Constitution of Japan. As one who has inherited a long tradition, I have always felt a deep sense of responsibility to protect this tradition. At the same time, in a nation and in a world which are constantly changing, I have continued to think to this day about how the Japanese Imperial Family can put its traditions to good use in the present age and be an active and inherent part of society, responding to the expectations of the people.

It was some years ago, after my two surgeries that I began to feel a decline in my fitness level because of my advancing age, and I started to think about the pending future, how I should conduct myself should it become difficult for me to carry out my heavy duties in the way I have been doing, and what would be best for the country, for the people, and also for the Imperial Family members who will follow after me. I am already 80 years old, and fortunately I am now in good health. However, when I consider that my fitness level is gradually declining, I am worried that it may become difficult for me to carry out my duties as the symbol of the State with my whole being as I have done until now.

I ascended to the throne approximately 28 years ago, and during these years, I have spent my days together with the people of Japan, sharing much of the joys as well as the sorrows that have happened in our country. I have considered that the first and foremost duty of the Emperor is to pray for peace and happiness of all the people. At the same time, I also believe that in some cases it is essential to stand by the people, listen to their voices, and be close to them in their thoughts. In order to carry out the duties of the Emperor as the symbol of the State and as a symbol of the unity of the people, the Emperor needs to seek from the people their understanding on the role of the symbol of the State. I think that likewise, there is need for the Emperor to have a deep awareness of his own role as the Emperor, deep understanding of the people, and willingness to nurture within himself the awareness of being with the people. In this regard, I have felt that my travels to various places throughout Japan, in particular, to remote places and islands, are important acts of the Emperor as the symbol of the State and I have carried them out in that spirit. In my travels throughout the country, which I have made together with the Empress, including the time when I was Crown Prince, I was made aware that wherever I went there were thousands of citizens who love their local community and with quiet dedication continue to support their community. With this awareness I was able to carry out the most important duties of the Emperor, to always think of the people and pray for the people, with deep respect and love for the people. That, I feel, has been a great blessing.

In coping with the aging of the Emperor, I think it is not possible to continue reducing perpetually the Emperor’s acts in matters of state and his duties as the symbol of the State. A Regency may be established to act in the place of the Emperor when the Emperor cannot fulfill his duties for reasons such as he is not yet of age or he is seriously ill. Even in such cases, however, it does not change the fact that the Emperor continues to be the Emperor till the end of his life, even though he is unable to fully carry out his duties as the Emperor.

When the Emperor has ill health and his condition becomes serious, I am concerned that, as we have seen in the past, society comes to a standstill and people’s lives are impacted in various ways. The practice in the Imperial Family has been that the death of the Emperor called for events of heavy mourning, continuing every day for two months, followed by funeral events which continue for one year. These various events occur simultaneously with events related to the new era, placing a very heavy strain on those involved in the events, in particular, the family left behind. It occurs to me from time to time to wonder whether it is possible to prevent such a situation.

As I said in the beginning, under the Constitution, the Emperor does not have powers related to government. Even under such circumstances, it is my hope that by thoroughly reflecting on our country’s long history of emperors, the Imperial Family can continue to be with the people at all times and can work together with the people to build the future of our country, and that the duties of the Emperor as the symbol of the State can continue steadily without a break. With this earnest wish, I have decided to make my thoughts known.

I sincerely hope for your understanding.
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  #132  
Old 08-08-2016, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blog Real
I think that the Emperor wants to give up, but it's against the law. Probably the Prince Naruhito will stay as Regent.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippyboo
If it's not legal to abdicate and the emperor feels like his health won't let him to his duties, is it easier to just set up a regency with the Crown Prince as regent instead of trying to a pass a law?
but the emperor has said
Quote:
In coping with the aging of the Emperor, I think it is not possible to continue reducing perpetually the Emperor's acts in matters of state and his duties as the symbol of the State. A Regency may be established to act in the place of the Emperor when the Emperor cannot fulfil his duties for reasons such as he is not yet of age or he is seriously ill. Even in such cases, however, it does not change the fact that the Emperor continues to be the Emperor till the end of his life, even though he is unable to fully carry out his duties as the Emperor.
When the Emperor has ill health and his condition becomes serious, I am concerned that, as we have seen in the past, society comes to a standstill and people's lives are impacted in various ways. The practice in the Imperial Family has been that the death of the Emperor called for events of heavy mourning, continuing every day for two months, followed by funeral events which continue for one year. These various events occur simultaneously with events related to the new era, placing a very heavy strain on those involved in the events, in particular, the family left behind. It occurs to me from time to time to wonder whether it is possible to prevent such a situation.
so he doesn't wont a Regency if he wanted Regency then he wouldn't had made this speech or even proposed abdication
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  #133  
Old 08-08-2016, 07:52 AM
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That was clearly a speech not directed to the politicians or the protocol. It was directed to the general public calling for support.

It was also IMO as close to insisting on abdicating, preferably tomorrow, that I believe the Emperor could possibly come.

Since the Emperor has a good reputation among ordinary Japanese, I find it hard to see how the conservatives and nationalists can deny him his request. On the contrary in fact.
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  #134  
Old 08-08-2016, 08:05 AM
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I think too that the speech was directed for the general public, he wants a support from the public and I think too that the the nationalists and the imperial agency cannot deny him to abdicate if the emperor has the support of the people of Japan

I think there is a fight between this imperial agency and the emperor behing the doors of the palace
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  #135  
Old 08-08-2016, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippyboo View Post
If it's not legal to abdicate and the emperor feels like his health won't let him to his duties, is it easier to just set up a regency with the Crown Prince as regent instead of trying to a pass a law?


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From the media I understood that it seems the Emperor sees a Regent as undesirable: the imperial prerogatives should be executed by the Emperor. Maximum clarity. No confusion possible.

I can go along with that. The Emperor has religious commitments as well. Imagine that Pope Benedictus had not abdicated because of his frail health but instead Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio was appointed "Papal Regent". And now we have advanced years on: a frail Pope in Castel Gandolfo and an ambitious Cardinal-Regent in the Vatican. That is hard to imagine. Adbication leaves no room for confusion or intrigues.
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  #136  
Old 08-08-2016, 08:11 AM
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I think that he also wants some changes in case that the emperor is ill and cannot fullfit his duties and after the death of the emperor , his funeral which last one year He says that these two cases are not good for the country, it is not adjusted to the modern times.
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  #137  
Old 08-08-2016, 08:21 AM
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Yes indeed, it was a direct appeal to the public for understanding of his personal situation and in someways to prepare them for the possibility of his simply not being able to physically perform all the duties he and the public would want him to do.

The relationship between the Emperor (and the Empress for that matter) and the public seems a very personal one - the connection and mutual understanding and support goes way beyond the concerns of the IHA or the Government and this is reflected in the words that the Emperor has carefully chosen.

I am sure there has been much talk behind closed doors and between the IHA and the Government already. I don't believe the IHA will have been aggressive in their attitude towards the Emperor's personal wishes - indeed, I don't think they will have had a choice other than to support to Emperor and provide him with the assurances he may well have sought from them.

The IHA is there to look after the Emperor and to ensure his well being and health. This is reflected in their agreement to allow the Emperor to slow down on his activities, conscious of his advancing age and health.

My hope is that, if nothing else, a regency can be instituted if Constitutional change becomes too burdensome to the Parliament.

We must also remember the health of Empress Michiko - much of her stress and anxiety must surely be on account of her beloved husbands health and age. Allowing him to retire will I think be a benefit to her as well.

They are both a lovely, kind and gentle couple - their duties are paramount to them and they have carried out their roles without stint or complaint all these years. Few people could deny even the Emperor and Empress of Japan a chance to rest with less stress and anxiety.
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  #138  
Old 08-08-2016, 12:56 PM
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indeed. the emperor has had a dedicated life to his country and i don't think it is unreasonable for him to pass on the baton to the next generation. the crown prince being in his 50s, i think it's the perfect time for him to assume power.

i am unsure why abdication isn't openly talked about, and why the emperor has to ask for understanding on the matter. surely there is an intercultural element context that us westerners cannot get a grip on. we have seen so many heads of state from his generation abdicating in the recent years, that to me it seems more than reasonable to allow someone who does not feel fit for purpose to step down. those were my thoughts when the last pope 'abdicated' too. i find it commendable that someone realizes that they are not able to perform their role adequately and takes a step towards solving that. it demonstrates maturity, unselfishness and a real respect for his institution.
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  #139  
Old 08-08-2016, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by carlota View Post

[...]
i am unsure why abdication isn't openly talked about, and why the emperor has to ask for understanding on the matter. surely there is an intercultural element context that us westerners cannot get a grip on.
[...]
It is nothing Eastern but exactly Western. The USA-drafted Constitution has put a glass dome over the Emperor: Japan could remain a monarchy and keep the Emperor but only in the most strict unpolitical and utmost ceremonial role.

Since the law does not provide in an abdication, any hint by the Emperor that he wants to abdicate and the Japanese Government coming into action is proof of political influence of the Emperor. Something which is painfully avoided. So all involved (the Court, the Imperial Household, the Government and the Parliament) are just making rounds for the bühne (the theatre stage) to avoid any idea that ministers are working because of an "instruction" by the Court.

Before the current USA-drafted constitutional system, most likely Emperor Hirohito could have announced that it was "His Imperial Will And Pleasure" to abdicate the throne in favour of his son, Prince Akihito. The ministers would have bowed deep and meticulously executed the Emperor's wishes... His Majesty's wish is His Majesty's command, before 1947.
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  #140  
Old 08-08-2016, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Skippyboo View Post
If it's not legal to abdicate and the emperor feels like his health won't let him to his duties, is it easier to just set up a regency with the Crown Prince as regent instead of trying to a pass a law?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacknch View Post
My hope is that, if nothing else, a regency can be instituted if Constitutional change becomes too burdensome to the Parliament.
No constitutional change is required to enact an abdication or regency, because the Imperial House Law is not part of the Constitution.

The Imperial House Law only provides for a regency when the Emperor is under eighteen or "is affected with a serious disease, mentally or physically, or there is a serious hindrance and is unable to perform his acts".

THE CONSTITUTION OF JAPAN
The Imperial House Law - The Imperial Household Agency


Quote:
Sources say the Emperor appears to be stressed and anxious at the thought that someday soon, he may not be able to perform at the level he desires.

In May this year, Imperial Household Agency officials announced they were cancelling some of the Emperor's and the Empress' official activities. They said it was because of the couple's age.

Sources say the Emperor had reservations about drastic cuts the officials initially proposed. So the changes ended up being limited. The Emperor has consistently said that the title should be held by one who can fulfill the duties.
Emperor Chronology - NHK NEWSLINE - News - NHK WORLD

Quote:
A telephone survey Aug. 6-7 found that 84 percent of respondents are in favor of legal revisions that would allow the emperor, 82, to step down from the Chrysanthemum Throne. […] Only five percent were opposed to abdication. […]

The survey asked respondents whether a regent should be allowed so as to reduce the burden on Akihito.

Seventy-three percent said they supported having a regent under that scenario, while 15 percent were opposed.
Asahi poll: 84% support emperor in his wish to step down?The Asahi Shimbun
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