Public address of EA


Martin Foster “Japan's Emperor Akihito says health is failing and hints at abdication”


There are four possible routes for the Abe government now that Akihito has made his wishes as clear as they are likely to get under the existing rules, said Prof Naotaka Kimizuka, of Kanto Gakuin University.

“First, the PM might merely continue as before, with no abdication and no regent. In a second scenario he may appoint a regent,” he said.

“Mr Abe might also move to alter those articles of the Imperial Household Law that govern abdication or retirement, and fourthly, the government might use this as an opportunity to amend the Imperial Household Law in its entirety.

“For myself, I see Mr Abe taking options one or two, with number three being the maximum concession he would be prepared to make at this stage.”

Other observers believe it is time to give the man a rest.

“My take is that the government has little option but to make changes in the law for at least the current emperor to retire,” said Purnendra Jain*4, professor of Japanese studies at the University of Adelaide.