On Monday, Japanese Emperor Akihito delivered a rare televised address to the nation about his declining health and the burden of his duties. In doing so, he has launched a much-needed discussion about the role of the country’s royal family — and perhaps about Japan’s future.
According to Japanese law, Akihito, 82, must serve as emperor for life. Yet his speech has invited speculation that he might wish to abdicate the throne. And while Akihito did not state his intentions explicitly, meaning his words will remain open to interpretation, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other political leaders stressed the need to take the emperor’s address seriously.… Seguir leyendo »