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Why Did Japan's Emperor Abdicate?



Now, our main story this morning, the abdication of Japan's Emperor Akihito Peter Landers is our Tokyo bureau chief so Peter who is Emperor Akihito tell me a little bit about him. And why did he decide to abdicate Emperor Akihito's eighty five years old? He was eleven and a half about when World War Two ended. So he did experience a little bit of the war and had to escape to the countryside. Because Tokyo was being bombed so severely and that really shaped his whole life. He inherited the throne from his father, emperor Hirohito in nineteen eighty nine and has been on this road for thirty years and a big part of his reign has been about remembering the war, and what it did to Japan. What it did to other countries in Asia? He's gone as far as the island of Palau in the Pacific to commemorate the war dead and remember some of the battles of the war. And at eighty five years old he was suffering from. Lining health. Although he still is in fairly good health for a man of his agent is able to walk around and attend ceremonies speak and so on so he's in relatively good health for a man of eighty five but several years ago after having been hospitalized for prostate matter. And so on maybe cut that breast that it was president but several years ago after some health troubles. He told the nation in a sort of indirect way that he felt it was his time to to abdicate and a law was passed allowing him to do so. And so on may I the throne will pass to his eldest son Crown Prince Naruhito about Nara told what's he like he is a very mild mannered fellow from all accounts plays the viola. He studied the history of river transport at Oxford University in the nineteen eighties. And. So and he has an has expressed an interest in in global affairs, and it was interesting to read the transcript of his press conference a year ago when he was asked about events in the news that have made an impression, and he cited a very specific figure for the number of refugees in the world and talked about global conflicts that were increasing the number of refugees, and he mentioned this year that he would like his wife ground prince's Moscow. The next empress to take a greater role in in helping him talk about some of these issues and address them. So I think he'll bring a more global perspective to the throne. There's been some criticism in Japan that the current rules don't allow for a woman to take the throne. It seems to come in contrast to prime minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to try and get more women in the workforce. Yes, it's an obvious contradiction with prime minister Abbas policy, he talks about a society. A women can shine. And yet here is the symbol of the nation. And only a man can shine in that role under the current law.

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