Emperor Akihito hints at wish to abdicate.
Japan's Emperor Akihito has strongly indicated he wants to step down, saying he fears his age will make it difficult to fulfill his duties. The revered 82 year old emperor's comments came in only his secondA[degrees]ever televised address to the public. But he did not explicA[degrees] itly say he wanted to abdicate as he is barred from making politiA[degrees] cal statements.
PM Shinzo Abe said the governA[degrees] ment would take the remarks 'seriously' and discuss what could be done. "I do respect the heavy responsibility the emperor must be feeling and I believe we need to think hard about what we can do," he said.
If Emperor Akihito were to abdicate, it would be the first time a Japanese emperor has stepped down since Emperor Kokaku in 1817.
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