Japan's Emperor Akihito should be allowed to retire, says expert panel

Emperor Akihito of Japan should be allowed to abdicate, according to a government panel. The panel of six experts was set up after Emperor Akihito made a rare televised speech in which he alluded to a desire to abdicate. “I am concerned it may become difficult for me to carry out my duties as the symbol of the state with my whole body and soul as I have done so far,” he said. The panel said it…
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Empress Michiko of Japan is ill

Her Imperial Majesty Empress Michiko of Japan is ill. This was announced in an official statement from the Imperial Household Agency yesterday, on Monday, 12 December. Empress Michiko, age 82, was diagnosed with acute bronchitis last Friday after suffering a slight fever and…