International Desk | Sonar Sylhet.Com: Japan’s Emperor Akihito has strongly indicated that he wanted to step down, saying he feared his age will make it difficult to fulfill his duties.
The revered 82-year-old emperor’s comments came in only his second-ever televised address to the public, BBC reports on Monday (Aug 8).
Emperor Akihito did not explicitly says that he wanted to abdicate as it could be interpreted as political interference.
PM Shinzo Abe said that the government would take the remarks ‘seriously’ and discuss what could be done.
‘Upon reflecting how he handles his official duty and so on, his age and the current situation of how he works, I do respect the heavy responsibility the emperor must be feeling and I believe we need to think hard about what we can do,’ he said.
Akihito, who has had heart surgery and was treated for prostate cancer, has been on the throne in Japan since the death of his father, Hirohito, in 1989.
In his 10-minute pre-recorded message, he said that he had ‘started to reflect’ on his years as emperor, and contemplate his position in the years to come.