Japan’s monarch sets abdication date
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 12/01/17, 10:59 am
Japan’s Emperor Akihito will step down on April 30, 2019, making him the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in two centuries. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the announcement on Friday after a meeting with the Imperial House Council. Akihito’s eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito, will replace him. “I feel deeply moved that the decision was made smoothly by the Imperial House Council, marking a major step toward an imperial succession,” Abe said. The 85-year-old monarch first announced his wish to step down in August, based on his age and health. Japanese law does not allow for abdication, but Japan’s National Diet passed a law in June providing Akihito the option to step down. Kokaku, who reigned from 1780 to 1817, was the last Japanese emperor to abdicate.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.