The Emperor of Japan took to the airwaves today, dropping many a hint that he wants to step down from the throne he’s been on since the death of his father, Hirohito.
The problem is that there’s no mechanism in Japanese law for the Emperor to step down. It’s not like the UK, where the monarch can abdicate with permission from parliament. Belgium, the Netherlands, and Spain have all had their respective monarchs step down over the last few years, as has the Vatican.
There’s some concern that if the emperor steps down, it could help push Japan further along their current road to re-militarizing. That may or may not be the case. But I’ll say this: he’s an old man. If he wants to leave and let his son take the throne, let him. Don’t hold the guy prisoner in a job he doesn’t want anymore.