Asia

Report: Japan's Emperor Akihito, 82, considering retiring

  • FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2016, file photo, Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko wave to locals as they take a walk on a coast near the Hayama Imperial Villa in Hayama, near Tokyo. Japan’s public television said Wednesday, July 13, 2016, Akihito has expressed intention to retire while still alive. The NHK says the Emperor has conveyed his hopes to relinquish his title to Crown Prince Naruhito within the next few years. It was not known if there was any timeline for his intended retirement, or whether there was related to his recent health conditions. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)

    FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2016, file photo, Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko wave to locals as they take a walk on a coast near the Hayama Imperial Villa in Hayama, near Tokyo. Japan’s public television said Wednesday, July 13, 2016, Akihito has expressed intention to retire while still alive. The NHK says the Emperor has conveyed his hopes to relinquish his title to Crown Prince Naruhito within the next few years. It was not known if there was any timeline for his intended retirement, or whether there was related to his recent health conditions. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2016, file photo, Japan's Emperor Akihito reads a statement to formally open the ordinary diet session at the upper house of parliament in Tokyo. Japan’s public television said Wednesday, July 13, 2016, Akihito has expressed intention to retire while still alive. The NHK says the Emperor has conveyed his hopes to relinquish his title to Crown Prince Naruhito within the next few years. It was not known if there was any timeline for his intended retirement, or whether there was related to his recent health conditions. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2016, file photo, Japan's Emperor Akihito reads a statement to formally open the ordinary diet session at the upper house of parliament in Tokyo. Japan’s public television said Wednesday, July 13, 2016, Akihito has expressed intention to retire while still alive. The NHK says the Emperor has conveyed his hopes to relinquish his title to Crown Prince Naruhito within the next few years. It was not known if there was any timeline for his intended retirement, or whether there was related to his recent health conditions. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2016, file photo, Japan's Emperor Akihito, right, and Crown Prince Naruhito, left, walk at Haneda international airport in Tokyo. Japan's public television said Wednesday, July 13, 2016, Akihito has expressed intention to retire while still alive. The NHK says the Emperor has conveyed his hopes to relinquish his title to Crown Prince Naruhito within the next few years. It was not known if there was any timeline for his intended retirement, or whether there was related to his recent health conditions. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2016, file photo, Japan's Emperor Akihito, right, and Crown Prince Naruhito, left, walk at Haneda international airport in Tokyo. Japan's public television said Wednesday, July 13, 2016, Akihito has expressed intention to retire while still alive. The NHK says the Emperor has conveyed his hopes to relinquish his title to Crown Prince Naruhito within the next few years. It was not known if there was any timeline for his intended retirement, or whether there was related to his recent health conditions. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)  (The Associated Press)

Japan's public television says Emperor Akihito has expressed his intention to retire and relinquish his title in the next few years.

NHK said the 82-year-old Akihito did not wish to remain emperor if he had to reduce his official duties. Akihito in recent years has referred to his old age, and the Imperial Household Agency has suggested cutting back on his duties.

The report Wednesday evening cited unidentified agency sources.

It was not known if his hopes to retire were related to his health or if he had a timeline to relinquish his title to Crown Prince Naruhito.

The Imperial law does not specify rules about the timing of succession.

The last succession from a living emperor was about 200 years ago.