national

Japan awaits emperor's video message on possible abdication

21 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

21 Comments
Login to comment

Some speculate that Akihito’s abdication may be an attempt to put a break on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to rewrite the constitution. Abe and his ultra-conservative supporters want to scrap a part of the war-renouncing article and upgrade the emperor to the sovereign again.

Or this could be an opportunity for him. He can be the Absolute Monarch of Japan, and order them not to rewrite the constitution. His word is law. He can put Abe in jail too, while he's at it.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Experts and media have speculated that Akihito will seek to abdicate while he is still in good health so he can monitor Naruhito, who is seen not quite ready for succession.

Naruhito has been watching his dad for 27 years plus was brought up in the IHA system, what more does he need to learn to be able to assume the duties. With that much training, he should be able to do the job with ease. There is something more to this than being let out.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

I'd like to see his schedule before deciding if he works too hard. How can 90% in a random poll decide he does without that vital information. And how much does he work compared to other royalty? And what is his reimbursement for these duties. It's all so opaque. But, as it is, confining one family to having virtually no freedoms - to speak, to vote, to decide when to retire, to marry who you like, and others too - is a human rights violation of the highest order.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

When this was first being talked about, it was going to be a live address. The IHA put an end to that idea. I expect nothing surprising or even very interesting from this.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Maybe he's just tired and feeling his age.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Moonraker at Aug. 08, 2016 - 07:26AM JST "I'd like to see his schedule before deciding if he works too hard. How can 90% in a random poll decide he does without that vital information"

People who pay attention to the news in Japan will have a fair idea of how hard the Emperor works. For those who want to know in detail, his daily schedule (going back over his entire reign), as well as daily schedules for other royal family members is available for anyone to see on the IHA homepage.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

So, you think this 90% looked at his schedule, Educator60? I pay attention to the news but I don't see his daily duties detailed; just when he goes somewhere like Tohoku or Kumamoto. And still we have no idea how hard he actually works. Is he just driven or flown somewhere to perform a scripted task? And how about compared to other royals, say, the British queen, who is 90, I believe? I say, give him a break from the whole thing from a sheer human rights perspective but I don't want to be palmed off with the-guy-works-too-hard excuse for something that looks suspicious, especially when there are others to carry out some of the tasks anyway.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I'd like to see his schedule before deciding if he works too hard.

An octogenarian shouldn't need to be working at all.

confining one family to having virtually no freedoms - to speak, to vote, to decide when to retire, to marry who you like, and others too - is a human rights violation of the highest order.

Yes.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Crown Prince Naruhito is not quite ready for succession? How much time did Emperor Akihito have before the passing of his father?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

CNN released a segment on Emperor Akihito and the possibility of his abdication, by correspondent Will Ripley. It is well worth watching.

In the segment, Jeffrey Kingston of Temple University said, "Akihito carved out a very different role than his father...he has done more than all of Japan's political leaders combined to promote reconciliation with the former victims of Japanese imperial aggression." So true.

Here is the Will Ripley segment (2:27): http://edition.cnn.com/2016/08/07/asia/japan-emperor-akihito/

4 ( +4 / -0 )

He will most likely avoid the explicit expression of abdication, which would involve political and legal procedures that he is not allowed to discuss.

It seems that he is not even allowed to retroactively 'confirm' the NHK report.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hehe, it's amusing to see how even in this, some can see conspiracy and skulduggery. Gee, I'm retiring this year in my 60s. Surely the old chap can look forward to a change of pace in his 80s. I have to say that, as a non-Japanese, I am an admirer of the maintenance of the imperial traditions in Japan, and I think we have no idea how busy it is for monarchs like him, not to mention restrictive on his personal life. Well, we'll find out more this afternoon perhaps, but I certain;y wish him and his wife well for the future.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Whatever he intends to say seems acceptable for most Japanese people. If he wants retirement, then it's given.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Naruhito, who is seen not quite ready for succession

If Akihito died today would "they" still say that Naruhito is "not quite ready for succession"? Or are "they" only saying this because they don't want Akihito to abdicate at all?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Moonraker at Aug. 08, 2016 - 08:35AM JST "So, you think this 90% looked at his schedule, Educator60? "

I didn't say that, and, no, I doubt if anyone but the journalists who cover the royal family, avid royal watchers or academic researchers actually read the details of his daily schedule (which I have looked at just out of curiousity and which shows a very heavy schedule of duties). The point is that those details are easily accessed details. If you want to go back and see what they did on any given date throughout the last 28 years, you can do that.

"I pay attention to the news but I don't see his daily duties detailed; just when he goes somewhere like Tohoku or Kumamoto."

The regular news doesn't cover every sibgle engagement every day, but they certainly cover more than the disaster area visits. Although I greatly admire the current Emperor and Empress, I am not in any way a follower of the Royal family. But I have managed without any effort to have a good idea of their activities. I can't say why you haven't been able to do the same.

" And still we have no idea how hard he actually works. Is he just driven or flown somewhere to perform a scripted task?"

What do you want? For him to walk or ride a bike all over the country? And it's still my contention that the ordinary person on the street who pays a reasonable amount of attention to current affairs and news, will havd a good enough grasp of how hard the Emperor and his family work.

"I don't want to be palmed off with the-guy-works-too-hard excuse for something that looks suspicious, "

If you pay more attention, and perhaps do a bit of research, those suspicions should be laid to rest. If not I would say you are just determined to see what you want to see regardless of evidence to the contrary.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Or this could be an opportunity for him. He can be the Absolute Monarch of Japan, and order them not to rewrite the constitution. His word is law. He can put Abe in jail too, while he's at it.

This is, I presume (hope), sarcasm.

I pay attention to the news but I don't see his daily duties detailed; just when he goes somewhere like Tohoku or Kumamoto.

Two of the commercial television channels run a weekly roundup of the activities of the Emperor and the other public royals. One is on Fuji Television at 0545 Sunday morning. The other is Nippon Television at 0600 Sunday morning. There may be others.

If you want more detail, you can go to the IHA website. Here for example is the public record of the daily activities of the Emperor and other royals for the second quarter of this year.

http://www.kunaicho.go.jp/page/gonittei/show/1?quarter=201602

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Third Arrow: Structural Reforms. Abe is now the Emperor.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A few in-thrall and carefully-managed news items and an official schedule tell us little, especially, as I say, if it is out of context, and not, say, compared to other royals. Of course I don't expect him to bike around. But if he just has to get out of a car and wave its not like he is planting trees every few hours. There are two different contexts here, Educator60. In one context - the current system - with no real provision for retirement, no mercy for overwork, at the mercy of a bureaucracy (all making him a true symbol) he has to go on. His father went on. Perhaps the people might then see the other context; that it is all a human rights violation anyway. I truly feel sorry for the guy. Like many of his ancestors he is a tool of power. If he really is working hard it is Kunaicho that makes his schedule. I don't really want them to escape their responsibility with some fudge.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The weekly programs that bullfighter mentions might be shown at different times depending on your local TV station. I know one of them is shown on Sunday evenings, just before Shoten, where I live. Even though they are only 15 minutes long so don't go into great detail, they give a good glimpse of the Royal family activities and sometimes feature some interesting historical or other information on some particular aspect of interest.

Forgot to mention in previous post that far from just reciting a scripted speech (although his speeches are indeed not off the cuff) the Emperor and Empress are well known for putting great time and effort into learning about any organization, event, area before their visits. And therefore are able to ask questions and make conversation that is apt and meaningful. The Empress usually incorporates something related to the engagement in her attire or accessories, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let him take a rest and pass on his duties to his son, I literally see nothing that could possibly serve as a legitimate objection here

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No surprise the IHA stopped it from being the live broadcast it was supposed to be -- they have the old guy in chains as tight as they can make them, and they're not letting the prisoner get in a peep edgewise.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites