Japanese emperor Akihito will abdicate in 2019, local media reports claim

Local media reports say Japanese emperor Akihito is to abdicate in 2019

Japanese emperor Akihito and his wife

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Japanese media has reported that the country's emperor Akihito is to abdicate in early 2019. 

His son, the Crown Prince Naruhito, will then reportedly take over the throne, it is reported.

Akihito, who has ruled since 1989, has dogged recently by abdication rumours due to his advanced age and ill health. 

The 83-year-old made a speech back in August hinting at a desire to abdicate - which a Japanese emperor has not done in the last 200 years. 

Japan's government would not comment on the reports surrounding the imperial family to local media.