Japan enters uncharted waters as emperor's abdication pondered

Japan's Emperor Akihito makes appearance to open the ordinary session of parliament in TokyoBy Linda Sieg TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan is moving to adopt a law allowing its octogenarian Emperor Akihito to abdicate but many touchy topics, such as his title and duties, remain to be settled before the monarch can retire in a step unprecedented for two centuries. Japanese law does not currently allow an emperor to give up the throne, but Akihito, 83, who has had heart surgery and prostate cancer treatment, said in rare public remarks last August he feared age might make it hard to fulfill his duties. A panel of experts is expected on Monday to indicate a preference for a special law to allow Emperor Akihito to retire, most probably by the end of 2018.

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