Japan: Emperor Akihito Signals Retirement

In this photo taken Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016 and provided by the Imperial Household Agency of Japan on Monday, Aug. 8, 2016, Japan's Emperor Akihito reads a message for recording at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Akihito expressed concern about fulfilling his duties as he ages in an address to the public in a 10-minute recorded speech broadcast on national television Monday that was remarkable for its rarity and its hinted possibility that he may want to abdicate in a few years.
Japan's Emperor Akihito reads a message for recording at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Akihito expressed concern about fulfilling his duties as he ages in an address to the public in a 10-minute recorded speech broadcast on national television Monday that was remarkable for its rarity and its hinted possibility that he may want to abdicate in a few years. Imperial Household Agency of Japan via AP
In this photo taken Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016 and provided by the Imperial Household Agency of Japan on Monday, Aug. 8, 2016, Japan's Emperor Akihito reads a message for recording at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Akihito expressed concern about fulfilling his duties as he ages in an address to the public in a 10-minute recorded speech broadcast on national television Monday that was remarkable for its rarity and its hinted possibility that he may want to abdicate in a few years.
Japan's Emperor Akihito reads a message for recording at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Akihito expressed concern about fulfilling his duties as he ages in an address to the public in a 10-minute recorded speech broadcast on national television Monday that was remarkable for its rarity and its hinted possibility that he may want to abdicate in a few years. Imperial Household Agency of Japan via AP

Japan: Emperor Akihito Signals Retirement

Japan's Emperor Akihito made a rare public address on Monday, hinting that he'd like to retire. 

The 82-year-old Akihito would be the first Japanese emperor in recent memory to relinquish the crown and it would take a change in Japanese law to allow him to step aside. Many in the country fear that such a move would weaken the monarchy, which is seen as a counterweight to Shinzō Abe’s government. 

We talk about Akihito’s legacy and the future of the Japanese monarchy with Steve Clemons, security analyst and Washington editor-at-large of The Atlantic. He cofounded the Japan Policy Research Institute with famed scholar and historian, Chalmers Johnson.