Japan panel agrees on April 30, 2019 for emperor’s abdication


Emperor Akihito’s planned abdication – the first by a Japanese monarch in about two centuries – should take place on April 30, 2019, a special panel chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed on Dec. 1.

Akihito, who turns 84 on Dec. 23 and has had heart surgery and treatment for prostate cancer, said in rare remarks last year that he feared age might make it hard to fulfil his duties.

Aki 2bThe 10-member Imperial Household Council includes lawmakers, royals and supreme court justices and the government was required by law to hear its views before formally deciding the date.

Akihito will be…

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