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Japan Emperor Akihito may abdicate in 2019
World | politics | 17:03, 20 October 2017 | 896

AKIPRESS.COM - Japan’s Emperor Akihito is likely to abdicate at the end of March 2019 and Crown Prince Naruhito is expected to ascend the throne in April, the first abdication by a Japanese monarch in nearly two centuries, the Asahi newspaper reported on Friday.

The government is in the final stage of formalizing the schedule, said the Asahi, citing several sources.

In June, Japan’s parliament passed a law allowing Emperor Akihito to abdicate and the government needs to hammer out the details including the timing.

Japan’s top government spokesman denied the Asahi report.

“We are not aware of the report and there is not such fact,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.

“We will continue to discuss appropriately and will do our best to carry out the emperor’s abdication smoothly,” he said.

Akihito, 83, who has had heart surgery and treatment for prostate cancer, said in rare public remarks last year he feared age might make it hard for him to continue to fulfill his duties.

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