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Prince Naruhito

Japan emperor abdication set for March 2019

TOKYO: Japan's Emperor Akihito will step down on March 31, 2019, a report said Friday, the first imperial retirement in more than two centuries. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet top officials and members of the royal household next month before announcing the date, the Asahi Shimbun reported, citing unnamed government sources. Akihito's eldest son, 57-year-old Crown Prince Naruhito, will ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne the next day on April 1, the paper said. The popular 83-year-old Akihito shocked the country…