Japan’s Emperor Akihito has expressed concern that it may become difficult for him to carry out his duties as his physical condition declines.
The 82-year old Emperor delivered a 10-minute video message to the public on Monday. His message alluded to his wishes regarding abdication.
He maintained that he must refrain from making any specific comments on the existing Imperial system, but that he would like to express his thoughts as an individual.
The Emperor said that being in the midst of a rapidly aging society, he wanted to talk about what would be the desirable role of the Emperor at a time when the Emperor, too, becomes advanced in age.
He said it is not possible to continue perpetually reducing the Emperor’s acts in matters of state and his duties as the symbol of State.
He said a Regency may be established to act in place of the Emperor, but that does not change the fact that the Emperor will continue to be the Emperor until the end of his life.
He expressed concern that when the Emperor is ill, society comes to a standstill and people’s lives are impacted in various ways.
He noted it may become difficult for him to carry out his duties as the symbol of the State, as his fitness level is gradually declining.
Finally, he expressed hope that the Imperial Family can continue to be with the people at all times and can work together with the people to build the country’s future.
He also said he hopes that the duties of the Emperor as the symbol of the State can continue steadily without a break.