Japan survey shows 81 percent approve abdication by emperor

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President Barack Obama meets with Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko during a welcome ceremony as he arrived at Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Thursday, April 24, 2014. (Eric Guzman/Stars and Stripes)
President Barack Obama meets with Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko during a welcome ceremony as he arrived at Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Thursday, April 24, 2014. (Eric Guzman/Stars and Stripes)

Japan survey shows 81 percent approve abdication by emperor

by: The Japan News/Yomiuri | .
The Japan News/Yomiuri | .
published: August 12, 2016

Eighty-one percent of respondents to a survey said relevant systems should be revised to facilitate an abdication by the emperor, which is currently prohibited. The number vastly exceeds the 10 percent who said there is no need to revise the relevant systems.

The survey was conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun following the release of a video message in which Emperor Akihito indicated his desire to abdicate.

The survey, conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday, is similar to one conducted on August 3 and 4, before the release of the video message, in that the percentage of those who said revisions are needed remained over 80 percent. In that survey, 84 percent said revisions should be made.

The results of the surveys indicate that most Japanese people approve of changing the relevant systems.

When those in support of revisions were asked specifically how the systems should be changed, 80 percent said it would be better to approve of abdications for the current emperor and all subsequent emperors. Fourteen percent said revisions should only apply to the current emperor.

The government will likely set up a panel of experts and other relevant people as early as September to discuss revising the Imperial House Law and enacting a special law for that purpose, among other topics.

When asked about the government's response to revising relevant systems, 52 percent said it should take urgent action and 43 percent said it should take careful consideration.

Respondents who said they hope that Akihito remains in his post through such measures as reducing official duties or assigning the crown prince as a regent stood at 37 percent. This is less than the 49 percent who said they do not hope so.