Japan gov't panel submits finalized proposals on emperor's abdication

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/4/22 7:16:23

A government advisory panel submitted its finalized proposals on Japan's Emperor Akihito's abdication to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday, which would enable the 83-year-old emperor to hand over the throne to his son.

The six-member government panel suggested in its final report that one-off legislation should be passed on the abdication which would apply only to the current emperor.

The report suggested that the emperor hand over all of his duties to his son after the abdication, while keeping the the honorific title of "heika" which means "Your Majesty."

A new office would be established to support the retired emperor and empress, the report proposed.

The report also suggested tripling the annual budget allocation for the private expenses of Prince Akishino, who will become the first in line after his older brother succeeds to the throne.

The report, concerned about the decline in the number of imperial family members, called for taking measures to address the issue but did not suggest any concrete ways.

The government will draft a bill based on the panel's proposals and an agreement reached last month by Diet members.

The bill will be submitted to the parliament as early as May 19 so that it could be passed during the current Diet session through June 18, local media reported quoting government sources.

The government eyes allowing the emperor to abdicate in December 2018, with the emperor's 85th birthday in mind, said the reports.

Japan's Emperor Akihito indicated his wish to relinquish and hand over the throne to the crown prince in a video message last August, citing his age.

Debate has been held under a government panel on necessary legal changes to enable the emperor to abdicate and on the status of and treatment given to the retired emperor.

Posted in: ASIA-PACIFIC

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