Akihito to become first Japanese emperor to abdicate in 200 years
Becoming the first Japanese monarch to abdicate his post in two centuries, Japan’s much-loved Emperor Akihito will step down on 30 April 2019 due to old age and health complications which would affect his ability to carry out public duties.Akihito’s eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito, will ascend the throne on 1st May 2019, becoming the 126th Emperor to ascend to Japan’s Chrysanthemum Throne.The Imperial Household Council, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shinzō Abe, parliamentary leaders, Supreme Court judges and family members made the decision on Friday. A debate circulated the country’s 2,000-year-old monarchy, one of the world’s oldest as Akihito’s wish to leave the throne raised discussions about enhancing the position of female members of the decreasing royal population. However, the male-only succession rules forbid women from succeeding to the Chrysanthemum throne.The last emperor to abdicate was Emperor Kokaku in 1817.
Source: The Guardian, BBC and CNN