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A female emperor to suit the times


Age of women: Prince Akishino’s son Prince Hisahito (standing centre) is the only male grandchild of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko (seated centre) as seen in this New Year’s imperial family photo. Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife Crown Princess Masako (seated left) have a daughter, Princess Aiko (standing left). The emperor’s second son, Prince Akishino and wife Princess Kiko (seated right) also have a daughter, Princess Mako (standing right) . — AFP

Age of women: Prince Akishino’s son Prince Hisahito (standing centre) is the only male grandchild of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko (seated centre) as seen in this New Year’s imperial family photo. Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife Crown Princess Masako (seated left) have a daughter, Princess Aiko (standing left). The emperor’s second son, Prince Akishino and wife Princess Kiko (seated right) also have a daughter, Princess Mako (standing right) . — AFP

EMPEROR Akihito, who has spent nearly three decades on Japan’s throne, will step down on April 30, 2019 – the first abdication by a Japanese monarch in about two centuries. The Yomiuri Shimbun speaks to modern Japanese history specialist, Kobe College Associate Professor Hideya Kawanishi, about issues related to the abdication of the Emperor. The following are excerpts from the interview.

Q: The Emperor is set to abdicate on April 30, 2019. What issues remain?

japan , emperor

   

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