>> Japan clearing the way on Friday for the Emperor to step down. Emperor Akihito will be the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in two centuries. The 83 year old has had heart surgery and prostate cancer treatment, and said last year he feared age could impair his duties.
Akihito was the first Japanese Emperor never considered divine. And worked for decades at home and abroad to soothe the wounds of World War II. His leaving the throne seems to have wide support among everyday Japanese. As Reuters' Elaine Lees reports, many view it as a sign of the times.
>> He's basically asking to retire, and so this is the Japanese imperial family coming into the modern era. He's 83 years old, his father lived to be about 88 then died as emperor as previous emperors have done. But since he has worked quite hard, he and his wife have traveled all over Japan to give comfort to disaster victims.
I think people will say as they say in Japan, they'll say
It did not touch on the controversial topic of allowing women to inherit the throne.>> Well the issue basically is succession. And where do they from here. And there is only one little boy in the next generation to inherit. There are only four potential heirs right now anyway of all the generations and that include someone who's 80 years old.
So the thing is providing a of errors and Keeping the Imperial family numbers up.>> The law paves the way for the Emperor's son, Crown Prince Naruhito to ascend to the throne. Akihito will, likely, step aside last next year.>>