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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 August 3 - 9  > Shii: Abdication of Tennno needs to be discussed
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2016 August 3 - 9 [POLITICS]

Shii: Abdication of Tennno needs to be discussed

August 9, 2016
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on August 8 at a press conference in the JCP head office, asked by reporters for comments on Emperor Akihito’s remarks hinting at stepping down, expressed his understanding of the need to discuss ante-mortem abdication of the Emperor (Tenno).

Shii said, “I well understand his worries that it may become difficult in the near future to fulfill his responsibilities as the symbol of Japan because of his advanced age. So, I think it is necessary for us politicians to seriously discuss the possibility of his abdication.”

Shii added, “The Japanese Constitution does not prohibit a voluntary resignation of the throne. Adhering to the fundamental principles of the Constitution, I think it is also necessary to reevaluate the notion in which one has to continue to work until the end of life.”

The emperor earlier on the same day, without directly touching on his intention to step down, issued a video message to the public and said, “When I consider that my fitness level is gradually declining, I am worried that it may become difficult for me to carry out my duties as the symbol of the State with my whole being as I have done until now.”
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