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Japan enters uncharted waters as emperor's abdication is pondered

Emperor Akihito with Empress Michiko at a garden of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Dec 5. Officials are looking at ancient precedents, since the last time an emperor abdicated was in 1817.


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...

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