Jan 22, 2017

Unaddressed succession issues

One-off legislation may be the easiest way to allow Emperor Akihito to abdicate, but it would leave the issue unresolved for future emperors.

Abdications weren't so rare during Edo Period

Jan 9, 2017

Abdications weren't so rare during Edo Period

It was not uncommon for emperors and empresses on the Chrysanthemum Throne to abdicate during the Edo Period (1603-1868) during the Tokugawa shogunate, a scholar says. Since Emperor Akihito released a video message last August hinting at a desire to relinquish his title, a ...

Dec 23, 2016

Full text of Emperor Akihito's message on his 83rd birthday

This is the official translation of Emperor Akihito’s message on his 83rd birthday. Looking back on the past 12 months since my last birthday, the first thing that comes to mind is the visit to the Philippines with the Empress at the end of January ...

Emperor turns 83, gives thanks for response to video message

Dec 23, 2016

Emperor turns 83, gives thanks for response to video message

Addressing the country on his 83rd birthday Friday, Emperor Akihito thanked the public for heeding his message earlier in the year indicating his desire to abdicate. His annual birthday remarks followed a rare video message in which he said his advanced age could one ...

Crown Prince not shy about criticizing Imperial system

Aug 9, 2016

Crown Prince not shy about criticizing Imperial system

Crown Prince Naruhito may be heir to one of the world’s oldest monarchies, but he is not shy about knocking the institution he represents or Japan’s warring past. The 56-year-old has leveled subtle yet unprecedented criticism at the monarchy, blaming the rigid lifestyle imposed ...