Japanese Emperor Akihito 'plans to abdicate': Media
July 13, Tokyo: Japan's Emperor Akihito has announced his intention to abdicate in the coming years, state media reports said.
According to public broadcaster NHK reports, the 82-year-old, who has had health problems in recent years, reportedly does not wish to remain emperor if he has to reduce his official duties.
He has been head of state for 27 years and his abdication would be an unprecedented move in modern Japan. His eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito, 56, is next in line to succeed him to the Chrysanthemum Throne.
Emperor Akihito succeeded his father, Hirohito, in 1989. He has been admired for distancing the monarchy from its association with the aggressive nationalism of World War Two, the broadcaster said.
In 2011, he took the highly unusual step of making a televised national address following the devastating earthquake and tsunami at Fukushima.
According the Associated Press news agency, the last succession from a living emperor was about 200 years ago.
The Oslo Times International News Network