Asia

Japanese emperor addresses abdication speculation

  • FILE - In this Dec. 23, 2015 file photo, Japan's Emperor Akihito waves to well-wishers as he appears on the balcony of the Imperial Palace to mark his 82nd birthday in Tokyo. Japanese emperor, in rare TV address aired on Monday, Aug. 8, 2016, says he is concerned about his ability to fulfill duties fully. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

    FILE - In this Dec. 23, 2015 file photo, Japan's Emperor Akihito waves to well-wishers as he appears on the balcony of the Imperial Palace to mark his 82nd birthday in Tokyo. Japanese emperor, in rare TV address aired on Monday, Aug. 8, 2016, says he is concerned about his ability to fulfill duties fully. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016 and provided by the Imperial Household Agency of Japan on Monday, Aug. 8, 2016, Japan's Emperor Akihito reads a message for recording at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Akihito expressed concern about fulfilling his duties as he ages in an address to the public in a 10-minute recorded speech broadcast on national television Monday that was remarkable for its rarity and its hinted possibility that he may want to abdicate in a few years. (Imperial Household Agency of Japan via AP)

    In this photo taken Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016 and provided by the Imperial Household Agency of Japan on Monday, Aug. 8, 2016, Japan's Emperor Akihito reads a message for recording at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Akihito expressed concern about fulfilling his duties as he ages in an address to the public in a 10-minute recorded speech broadcast on national television Monday that was remarkable for its rarity and its hinted possibility that he may want to abdicate in a few years. (Imperial Household Agency of Japan via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A screen displays Japanese Emperor Akihito delivering a speech in Tokyo, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. The Japanese emperor, in a rare address to the public, signaled Monday his apparent wish to abdicate by expressing concern about his ability to carry out his duties fully. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

    A screen displays Japanese Emperor Akihito delivering a speech in Tokyo, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. The Japanese emperor, in a rare address to the public, signaled Monday his apparent wish to abdicate by expressing concern about his ability to carry out his duties fully. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)  (The Associated Press)

The Japanese emperor has expressed concern about his ability to carry out his duties fully as he ages.

Emperor Akihito made the remarks in a rare video message delivered to the public on national television.

They followed recent media reports that he may want to abdicate in the coming years.

The 82-year-old monarch did not explicitly refer to abdication in his address. He did suggest a need to consider how to make the succession process smoother.

Akihito has reportedly told palace officials and his family that he doesn't wish to cling to his title with severely reduced responsibilities, and his two sons have accepted the idea.