Japanese emperor addresses abdication speculation

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.