Panel to issue report supporting Emperor abdication

A Japanese government panel studying a possible abdication of Emperor Akihito is set to release an interim report that supports enacting special legislation that is applicable only to him.

The six-member panel is looking at how to accommodate Akihito's apparent abdication wish expressed last August when he cited concerns that his age and health conditions may start limiting his ability to fulfill his duties.

The report to be released Monday evening will pave the way for a parliamentary discussion. Media reports were published detailing its proposals.

The panel, after interviewing constitutional and monarchy experts, has agreed that allowing an abdication was the most appropriate way to meet Akihito's request, but that setting a permanent system covering all future emperors would be difficult.