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?