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Gov’t team mulls details of Emperor’s abdication

  • July 14, 2016
  • , The Japan News , 08:45 p.m.
  • English sites

A team created by the government to take charge of matters related to the Emperor’s potential abdication is privately examining such issues as revising the Imperial House Law.


“It should be discussed at an advisory council of experts. We also need to take public opinion into account before introducing legislation,” a government source said on Wednesday.


Another source related to the government said, “Discussion on amending the Imperial House Law will surge again, including on the issue of allowing a female emperor.”


Historically, emperors who abdicated were given the honorific title of joko. However, the law does not have provisions for joko. Regarding the status of the Imperial family, the law has a limited list of titles including empress dowager, crown prince and shinno prince. As a retired emperor remains a member of the Imperial family, it is necessary to establish a new provision.


The name of the era would change if the Emperor were to abdicate in favor of the crown prince, who would accede to the throne. This is based on a law established in 1979, stipulating that the era should be updated only when succession to the throne takes place.


There are regulations on regency and the substitution of official duties, in case the Emperor falls ill. The law stipulates that a regent will be appointed if the Emperor is affected with a serious disease, mentally or physically, or if there is a serious hindrance preventing him from carrying out his duties in matters of state.

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