Japan panel begins to study Emperor's possible abdication
TOKYO – 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.