TOKYO - The Japanese government agreed on a bill on Friday that made it possible for Emperor Akihito to make throne distance. The proposal will be sent to parliament, which is expected to vote for the end of the month.
The 83-year-old Emperor said last year that his age and health made him difficult to fulfill his duties. Akihito has undergone a cardiac surgery and has been treated for prostate cancer. It would be the first abdication of a Japanese emperor in two hundred years
If the bill is accepted, he will be succeeded by Crown Prince Naruhito (57). 'The government hopes for a silent acceptance of the law,' said a government spokeswoman. Japanese media are heading for a throne at the end of next year.
Throne distance under current Japanese law is not possible. It is a one-off law amendment that does not apply to future emperors.