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Japan’s emperor to be granted Daijo Tenno title of retired sovereign after abdication

January 12, 2017, 8:29 UTC+3 TOKYO

In August 2016, Emperor Akihito said he was thinking about abdication over his old age

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TOKYO, January 12. /TASS/. Japan’s government is tending to give Emperor Akihito the historical title of Daijo Tenno, often shortened to Joko, which can roughly be translated as retired sovereign, after his abdication, Kyodo news agency said on Thursday citing well-informed sources.

The title of Joko was widely used in the feudal period when emperors’ abdications were rather a frequent thing, with 62 Japanese abdicating emperors. Now this term is to be defined is a special law that is to outline the conditions and procedures of the abdications of 83-year-old Emperor Akihito. It will be applied only to the current emperor and will set no precedents.

Some experts however are somewhat wary about the use of this title as in the Middle Ages a Daijo Tenno could still exert power, although retired. The Japanese government would like to avoid that and hence it wants to commit such state of things to paper in a new law. The current law on imperial affairs has no provisions for the case of abduction as the last Japanese emperor to rule as Joko was Emperor Kokaku who abdicated as far back as 1817.

In early August 2016, Emperor Akihito said in a televised address he was thinking about abdication over his old age. Public opinion polls demonstrate that the majority of the Japanese are not against his abdication. Currently, a panel of experts under the Japanese cabinet is scrutinizing all aspects of the would-be abdication which cannot take place under the current laws.

According to the local media, most probable successor is Crown Prince Naruhito, 56, who will ascend the throne on January 1, 2019.

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