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Japan Emperor to make video address to people on Monday

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Emperor Akihito will make a video address to the people of Japan on Monday at 1500 JST/0600 GMT, the Imperial Household Agency said on Friday, following a report last month that he wants to abdicate "in a few years."

[TOKYO] Emperor Akihito will make a video address to the people of Japan on Monday at 1500 JST/0600 GMT, the Imperial Household Agency said on Friday, following a report last month that he wants to abdicate "in a few years."

The 82-year-old monarch, who has had heart surgery and been treated for prostate cancer in recent years, expressed his intention to abdicate in a few years to the Imperial Household Agency, public broadcaster NHK said last month.

Ordinary Japanese sympathise with his apparent desire to hand over to Crown Prince Naruhito, but such a step would be unprecedented in modern Japan and the idea faces stiff opposition from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's conservative base.

REUTERS

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