>> At 82 years old, maybe it's time to retire. Japan's emperor Akihito appearing in a rare video address Monday, hinting that the job's become too much.>>
> I've started to think about the future, how I should conduct myself, should it become difficult for me to carry out my duties, and what would be best for the country.
>> Akihito has had some health concerns but he can't just abandon the Chrysanthemum throne. Japanese law requires he serves until death. Most Japanese sympathize with his wishes but as Reuters Elaine Lies says, there could be push back from conservatives.>> If they start changing the law and debating the Imperial family future, well then they're gonna have to start discussing and up the issue about whether women could inherit.
They currently can't and whether women could also pass on the throne. Which conservatives really don't like right now, traditionalists aren't crazy about.>> Crown Prince Naruhito is next in line for succession but he only has one daughter, raising questions over whether the inheritance law is due for an update.
Although Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his supporters might want to stick to the status quo, now that Akihito seems to be asking for change they may not have a choice. Abe made some remarks saying that we must seriously keep what the Emperor's wishes are in mind and think about his burdens but, he didn't say anything more.
Conceivably, one of the next steps would be that they would establish a committee to study changing the laws. And after that we just have to wait and see.>> Akihito ascended the throne after the death of his father, in whose name Japan fought World War II. During his reign, Akihito has tried to soothe those old wounds in Asia, even as Abe and his party have worked to empower the military.