TOKYO - A government advisory panel outlined Thursday its final proposals on Emperor Akihito's abdication, including what status and treatment he should be given after becoming the first living emperor to relinquish the Chrysanthemum throne in around 200 years.
After discussing matters related to the abdication with experts in various fields such as history and law, panel members have come to share the view that the emperor should be treated in the same manner as if he was a sitting emperor for occasions such as a funeral and building a mausoleum.
The panel has also reached a basic conclusion proposing that Emperor Akihito assume the historical title of "Joko," an abbreviation of "Daijo tenno," a respectful title given to an abdicated emperor, in line with past imperial practice, as well as Empress Michiko assuming the title "Jokogo" after her husband relinquishes the throne.
"We have reached an agreement on a draft framework of our final proposals at today's meeting," panel member Takashi Mikuriya, a University of Tokyo professor emeritus, said at a press conference, adding that a final report will be prepared and go through a check by panel members at its next meeting.
The panel has also discussed what title should be given to Prince Akishino, who will become the first in line to the throne after the emperor hands over the throne to Crown Prince Naruhito, as well as how he should be treated as the younger brother of the envisioned emperor.
How to legalize the emperor's abdication has been debated by the panel chaired by Takashi Imai, honorary chairman of the Japan Business Federation, as only posthumous succession is allowed currently, as the Imperial House Law lacks a provision regarding abdication.
While the timing of the abdication has not been formally decided, the government is considering December 2018, apparently having in mind the emperor's 85th birthday on Dec. 23 that year, government sources have said.
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