Emperor Akihito hints at abdication

Emperor Akihito in 2014
Emperor Akihito in 2014. Photo: William Ng, US State Department

In only his second televised speech ever, Akihito, the emperor of Japan, hinted that he may want to be able to abdicate sometime in the future due to his advanced age and declining health. The Japanese constitution in its current form bars the emperor from abdicating, meaning that a change would be necessary in order to allow Akihito to step down in favour of the crown prince Naruhito.

While the opinion of the public seem to be that the emperor should be allowed to retire and formally abdicate, there is considerably more resistance to such a change in the current government led by the Liberal Democratic Party and in particular among its conservative minor coalition partner party.

Akihito, now 82 years old, has been emperor since 1989 when he succeeded his father emperor Hirohito (Showa) on the chrysanthemum throne.

Only in Japan…

Waitress in Akihabara café
Waitress at the Meteor Shower cosplay café in Akihabara, Tokyo. Source: Anime News Network

There are some things that just really can’t exist anywhere else than in Japan and even there only in some select places like the famous – or infamous – Akihabara district in Tokyo. Such as the latest addition to their very special café settings, this time it is a pop-up café with the special gimmick of having the staff wearing the easily recognizable Japanese school swimsuits and of course having a menu styled appropriately with beverages such as “sweet pool juice” and jello.

The café which is a part of the cosplay café Meteor Shower is a promo for the June 14 release of the live-action film “Sweet Poolside”, adapted from a manga.