Published: Fri, December 01, 2017
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Japan's emperor to abdicate on April 30, 2019

Japan's emperor to abdicate on April 30, 2019

Japan's Emperor Akihito will abdicate his throne on 30 April 2019, according to an announcement made on Friday (1 December) by the 10-member Imperial House Council in Tokyo. The emperor will be 85 by then.

The decision was made Friday at a meeting of the Imperial House Council, which included politicians, judicial officials and imperial family members.

Photo Emperor Akihito of Japan, center, with Empress Michiko and Crown Prince Naruhito in 2016.

A one-off bill was passed for his abdication this year after the Emperor told the nation that he was finding it hard to carry out his duties, owing to his age and waning reflexes.

The panel is headed by Abe and its members include the heads of both chambers of parliament, the Supreme Court chief justice, the head of the Imperial Household Agency and two imperial family members.


Suga said the timing was chosen so that Akihito can abdicate after reaching his 30th anniversary on the throne, a milestone.

The Japanese Cabinet approved a bill granting Akihito to power abdicate in May of this year, after he curtailed public appearances due to his declining health.

Legislation allowing Akihito to abdicate within three years was enacted earlier this year.

"We would like everyone to celebrate an abdication of the emperor and succession of the crown prince", he said.

The emperor, who has had heart surgery and was treated for prostate cancer, has been on the throne in Japan since the death of his father, Hirohito, in 1989. Naruhito will be 59 when he becomes emperor. The last emperor to abdicate was Kokaku in 1817. The Imperial household meeting is held to discuss on the issues related to Emperor Akihito's abdication.

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