Asia

Japan panel begins to study Emperor's possible abdication

  • FILE - In Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016 file photo, Japanese Emperor Akihito, left, and Empress Michiko arrive at the entrance hall to greet Belgian King Philippe and Queen Mathilde arriving for a banquet held by Akihito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Experts on a government-commissioned panel were set to hold their first meeting Monday, Oct. 17, to study how to accommodate Akihito's apparent abdication wish, in a country where he is not supposed to say anything political. (Kimimasa Mayama/Pool Photo via AP, File)

    FILE - In Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016 file photo, Japanese Emperor Akihito, left, and Empress Michiko arrive at the entrance hall to greet Belgian King Philippe and Queen Mathilde arriving for a banquet held by Akihito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Experts on a government-commissioned panel were set to hold their first meeting Monday, Oct. 17, to study how to accommodate Akihito's apparent abdication wish, in a country where he is not supposed to say anything political. (Kimimasa Mayama/Pool Photo via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2016 file photo, Japan's Emperor Akihito is seated during the opening of a 66-day extraordinary Diet session at the upper house of parliament in Tokyo.  Experts on a government-commissioned panel were set to hold their first meeting Monday, Oct. 17, 2016,  to study how to accommodate Emperor Akihito's apparent abdication wish, in a country where he is not supposed to say anything political.  (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2016 file photo, Japan's Emperor Akihito is seated during the opening of a 66-day extraordinary Diet session at the upper house of parliament in Tokyo. Experts on a government-commissioned panel were set to hold their first meeting Monday, Oct. 17, 2016, to study how to accommodate Emperor Akihito's apparent abdication wish, in a country where he is not supposed to say anything political. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)  (The Associated Press)

Experts on a government-commissioned panel are set to hold their first meeting to study how to accommodate Emperor Akihito's apparent abdication wish.

Japan's modern imperial law doesn't allow abdication. Allowing Akihito to do so raises legal and logistical questions, ranging from laws subject to change to the emperor's post-abdication role, his title and residence.

Six panel members meeting Monday — five academics and a business organization executive — are to compile a report early next year after interviewing specialists on the Constitution, monarchy and history.

Akihito, 82, suggested his wish in August, citing concern about his age.

The government reportedly wants to allow Akihito's abdication as an exception and enact a special law to avoid dealing with divisive issues such as possible female succession and lack of successors.