Japan could have a new emperor in 2019 as nation takes legal steps to allow abdication

Japan is planning for Emperor Akihito to retire and be replaced by his eldest son on January 1, 2019, reports said Wednesday, as the country works on a legal framework for its first abdication in 200 years.
Akihito, 83, expressed a desire in August to abdicate after nearly three decades on the Chrysanthemum Throne, citing his advancing age and weakening health.
Major national newspapers – the Yomiuri, Asahi, Mainichi and Nikkei – cited unnamed sources as saying Crown Prince Naruhito, 56, would…

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