Japan’s Emperor Akihito is set to deliver his second ever televised address to the public. Last month, Japanese media reported that the emperor wanted to step down in coming years, which would be unprecedented in modern Japan.
He is not expected to use the word “abdicate” because he is barred from political involvement. The palace said on Friday he would be speaking about his “feelings regarding his duties as a symbol of the nation”.
There is no legal provision for abdication in Japanese law, which would mean a law change would be required. Under the constitution the emperor is not allowed to have political powers so a wish to abdicate could be seen as him interfering in politics. PM Shinzo Abe is expected to issue a statement after the emperor’s speech.(BBC,2016)