A Japanese government panel has endorsed Emperor Akihito's apparent desire to abdicate but avoided a key question of succession amid a declining royal population.

The six-member advisory panel in its final report Friday proposed Akihito abdicate under legislation that would be specially drafted for such an event.

The report detailed procedures such as the title, status and roles for an abdicated emperor and his heir, but avoided divisive issues such as whether to allow a female emperor.

The government will now write legislation for a parliamentary approval.

The 83-year-old Akihito expressed last August his apparent wish to abdicate, citing his age and health. The elder of the two sons, Crown Prince Naruhito, is first in line to the Chrysanthemum throne.