Japanese emperor to abdicate on April 30, 2019: gov't

Xinhua
Japan's Emperor Akihito is expected to abdicate on April 30, 2019, Japanese government said on Friday following a meeting of the Imperial House Council.
Xinhua
Reuters

(Clockwise from top) Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, House of Representatives speaker Tadamori Oshima, House of Councillors speaker Chuichi Date, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, Princess Hanako and Prince Hitachi attend a meeting of the Imperial Household Council to discuss the timeline for the abdication of Japan's Emperor Akihito at the Imperial Household Agency in Tokyo, Japan December 1, 2017.

Japan's Emperor Akihito is expected to abdicate on April 30, 2019, Japanese government said on Friday following a meeting of the Imperial House Council.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the meeting, which involved the prime minister, politicians, the judiciary and imperial family members, decided on the abdication date.

Reuters

Japan's Emperor Akihito is seen at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo February 23, 2011. 

Japan's top government spokesperson, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference that the emperor's abdication date will be reported to the Cabinet on Dec. 5.

After the emperor abdicates, his elder son Crown Prince Naruhito will ascend the throne on May 1, 2019.

Japanese Emperor Akihito ascended to the throne after the death in 1989 of his father Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa.

He indicated his wish to relinquish and hand over the throne to the crown prince in a rare video message in August last year, citing his age.

Japan's parliament enacted in June a law to allow Emperor Akihito to step down and pass his duties over to Crown Prince Naruhito.

The law, designed specially for the current emperor, would allow Emperor Akihito to be the first Japanese emperor that relinquishes the throne in around 200 years.


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