The Yomiuri Shimbun’s nationwide public opinion poll conducted on Sept. 9–11 asked respondents for their views on “abdication” by the emperor, which is not permitted under the current Imperial Household system. Some 67% of respondents said that “abdication should be permitted for all emperors from now on” while 24% said that “abdication should only be permitted for the current emperor” and 5% said that “it is not necessary to permit abdication.”
Rather than revise the Imperial Household Law to allow abdication, the government is focusing its considerations on enacting a special measures law for the Imperial Household Law that would allow abdication by only the current emperor. In the survey, though, many said that abdication should be allowed for all emperors from now on. It looks like this will be an issue in the future revision of the system.
The current Imperial Household system allows for a regent to be put in place to perform the emperor’s activities in matters of state as his proxy in the event that the emperor becomes seriously ill. Some 79% said that it would be good to set up a regent because the emperor is becoming elderly, while 17% felt otherwise.