The Strategist

Japanese Emperor is leaving the throne

05/01/2019 - 02:34

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe officially announced abdication of Emperor Akihito. This news is not a sensation as the monarch announced his desire to leave the throne soon in 2016. After that, the country's parliament drafted a special law allowing Akihito to retire at will. World leaders have already expressed their appreciation to Emperor and promised to develop mutually beneficial cooperation with his successor, Naruhito.

“In accordance with provisions of the special law, His Majesty is abdicating from powers today,” said Secretary of the Cabinet of Ministers of the country Yoshihide Suga on the Japanese television channel NHK. He read these words on behalf of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who prepared a special document announcing the abdication of 85-year-old Emperor Akihito. Mr. Abe also expressed deep gratitude to Emperor Akihito and his wife, Empress Michiko, for the fact that "during his thirty-year reign, His Majesty the Emperor and Her Majesty the Empress were always with the people."

The “special law” referred to in the appeal was developed at the initiative of the Emperor Akihito himself and adopted by Parliament in 2017. Emperor Akihito announced his decision to retire a year earlier, explaining it with serious health problems. In February 2012, Emperor had a heart surgery. He was also treated for prostate cancer. Emperor Akihito repeatedly said that his age and diseases would not allow him to fulfill his duties at such a high post.

However, this event still became a landmark for Japan since Emperors of this country have not abdicated from the throne for the past 200 years.

The successor of Emperor Akihito will be his son Narahito, who is only 59 years old. This will be the first emperor of Japan born after the end of the World War II. At that, the question of the possibility of inheritance of the throne by a woman, who has been widely discussed in Japan in recent years, appears to remain unresolved - in the coming decades, it simply lost its relevance.

Many world leaders have already sent messages to Emperor Akihito with thanks for their cooperation.

One of the first was American President Donald Trump. He published his appeal not on Twitter, as he usually does, but through the press service of the White House. “On behalf of the entire American people, I and the country's first lady express our heartfelt gratitude to His Majesty Emperor Akihito and his wife, Empress Michiko,” the text says. “Melania and I were honored to be guests of His Majesty in 2017, and we look forward to continuing the partnership and cooperation with Japan, our great ally, in the new era.”

Emperor Akihito will lose his powers at midnight exactly. Prior to that, in the evening of today, a solemn ceremony of renunciation will be held in the Room of Pine of the Imperial Palace, where the entire cream of Japanese society will be gathered.