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The Wall Street Journal: Japanese Emperor Akihito hints he wants to abdicate

TOKYO—Japanese Emperor Akihito said Monday that age and ill health could make it difficult for him to carry out his official duties, hinting that he wanted to abdicate in what would be the most significant change to the imperial system in the postwar era.

“When the emperor has ill health and his condition becomes serious, I am concerned that, as we have seen in the past, society comes to a standstill and people’s lives are impacted in various ways,” the 82-year-old emperor said in a prerecorded speech broadcast in Japan on Monday afternoon.

Japan’s emperor doubts his ability to carry out duties

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Japanese Emperor Akihito commented on national television Monday about his ability to carry out his duties fully as he ages.

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