TOKYO – Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito has pledged to tackle every task of an emperor with devotion and care just like his father when he assumes the Chrysanthemum throne.
Emperor Akihito last August expressed his wish to abdicate, though in veiled language, citing his age and health. The government last week enacted a special law allowing the 83-year-old emperor to abdicate in about three years. He will be the first emperor to do so in 200 years.
Naruhito said he understands and respects his father's feelings, and will also devote himself to serve as a "symbol" of the people and the nation.
Naruhito, the emperor's eldest son and first in line to the throne, made his comments to a group of journalists Tuesday ahead of his upcoming trip to Denmark.