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Japan panel firms up April 30, 2019 as date for emperor's abdication

Updated: 2017-12-01 10:48

Japan panel firms up April 30, 2019 as date for emperor's abdication

Japan's Emperor Akihito (L) and Empress Michiko wave to Luxembourg's Grand Duke Henri after their meeting and welcoming ceremony for Grand Duke at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan, Nov 27, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

TOKYO - A special panel chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has agreed that the date of Emperor Akihito's planned abdication - the first by a Japanese monarch in about two centuries - should be on April 30, 2019, national broadcaster NHK reported.

Akihito, who has had heart surgery and treatment for prostate cancer, said in rare remarks last year that he feared age might make it hard to fulfil his duties.

A law adopted in June allows Akihito to step down, but left details such as timing to be worked out later. He will be succeeded by his elder son, Crown Prince Naruhito.

Reuters

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