Due to a deterioration in his health, Japan’s Emperor Akihito will give up his seat in 2019. The 83-year-old will be the first emperor to abdicate in the last two centuries and his son will replace him.
Akihito Photo credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News
Today (Friday), Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that the country’s loved Emperor Akihito will give up his seat in April of 2019. The 83-year-old, whose health has been deteriorating, will be the first emperor to abdicate in the past two centuries.
The emperor’s son and Crown Prince of Japan Naruhito will replace him. Naruhito, who has already taken on some of his father’s roles, will become the 126th emperor of Japan on the first of May 2019. Abe stated: “I will do my best to ensure that the Emperor’s abdication and the coronation of the Prince will pass smoothly and with the blessing of all of our citizens.”
“He became emperor when Japan was looking for a new national identity and I think his commitment to peace became symbolic of how Japan tried to be perceived in the world,” a local resident told CNN. “I hope that will continue.”