An Emperor's Dilemma

Quelle:  The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 17 | Issue 9 | Number 3 | May 01, 2019
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von japan Focus.

Abdication, Succession and Japan’s Imperial Future: An Emperor’s Dilemma
John Breen

On 30 April 2019, 86-year old Emperor Akihito made history. He became the first emperor in 200 years to abdicate, yielding the throne to his son. The trigger for this historic moment was an extraordinary event that took place three years earlier. In August 2016, the emperor appeared on NHK to address the nation. His purpose? To intimate his desire to abdicate. The address, of questionable constitutionality, set in motion a debate about the nature of emperorship in 21st Century Japan, and led directly to the April abdication. This article sets out to explore some of the questions raised by the emperor’s address, and its historic outcome: What are emperors for? What is their place in contemporary Japan? What, indeed, are their future prospects?

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