Emperor Akihito mulls abdication
Japan's Emperor Akihito waves to well-wishers who gathered at the Imperial Palace to mark his 82nd birthday in Tokyo, Japan, December 23, 2015. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File photo

(From AFP)

Japan’s Emperor Akihito has no plans to step down, the imperial household has insisted, denying reports the 82-year-old wants to abdicate, in what would be an extraordinary move for a more-than 2,600-year-old royal line.

Emperor Akihito

The country’s establishment was been thrown into tumult after respected public broadcaster NHK — citing palace sources — said Akihito wanted to pass the throne to his son.

Any such abdication — the first in 200 years — would be a huge shock to a country where the revered royal family symbolizes stability and continuity.

Observers say NHK and Kyodo News, which separately carried a similar report, would be extremely careful before committing on such an explosive story, and would certainly have strong sourcing. Read More

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