Japan's crown prince hints at readiness to take throne

Japan's crown prince hints at readiness to take throne

A handout photo released on February 22, 2017 by the Imperial Household Agency of Japan shows Crown Prince Naruhito (C) posing with Crown Princess Masako (L) and their daughter Princess Aiko at Togu Palace in Tokyo. Naruhito will celebrate his 57th birthday on February 23, 2017 (Source: AFP PHOTO / IMPERIAL HOUSEHOLD AGENCY)
A handout photo released on February 22, 2017 by the Imperial Household Agency of Japan shows Crown Prince Naruhito (C) posing with Crown Princess Masako (L) and their daughter Princess Aiko at Togu Palace in Tokyo. Naruhito will celebrate his 57th birthday on February 23, 2017 (Source: AFP PHOTO / IMPERIAL HOUSEHOLD AGENCY)

Japan's Crown Prince says he is ready to take on the responsibilities of emperor, signaling that he may soon become emperor after he father Emperor Akihito. 83, steps down from the throne (abdicates).


Japan's Crown Prince hints at readiness to take throne

AFP News Agency

Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito has suggested he is ready to take on the duties of emperor from his father as the country prepares for its expected first imperial abdication in two centuries.

Emperor Akihito, now 83, said in August that his advancing age and weakening health mean he may no longer be able to carry out his duties as Japan's emperor.

This file photo taken on January 2, 2015 shows Japan's Emperor Akihito (R) waving to well-wishers beside Crown Prince Naruhito during their new year greetings in Tokyo. Japan is planning for Emperor Akihito to retire and be replaced by his eldest son on January 1, 2019, reports said on January 11, 2017, as the country works on a legal framework for its first abdication in 200 years. / AFP PHOTO / Toshifumi KITAMURA


While abdications are far from unknown in Japanese history, the last one was in 1817 and there is no mechanism under current law for an emperor to give up the ancient Chrysanthemum Throne.

The subject is also a highly sensitive issue in light of Japan's modern history of war waged in the name of Akihito's father Emperor Hirohito, who died in 1989.

Empress of Japan Michiko (Source: Wikipedia)


Naruhito, who turned 57 on Thursday, held an annual press conference two days before, telling reporters that while he had been "shaken" by his father's announcement, he was prepared to rise to the occasion.

In carefully crafted language, he hinted he is increasingly aware of the responsibility that awaits him.

"I would like to take it into my heart seriously and work on my duties, bearing it constantly in mind," he said.

An aerial photograph of Imperial Palace of Japan. in downtown Tokyo (Source: Wikipedia)

Akihito's eldest son added that he wants to "pursue a role for the imperial house that matches the needs of each era".

He added that such a role "changes from one era to another as a fresh wind blows in each".

Some scholars and politicians worry that the issue could open a can of worms and risk Japan's monarchs becoming subject to political manipulation.

Under the constitution they have only a symbolic role.

The Emperor and Empress with their family in November 2013 (Source: Wikipedia)

Last month, a government panel said Japan could pass a one-off bill allowing Akihito to step down.

The option was one of several presented by the group of experts charged with sorting out the thorny issue.

They are reportedly expected to make a final recommendation in March.

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan; 050628-N-7293M-093 Garapan, Saipan (June 28, 2005) – U.S. Navy Capt. Conrad Divis and U.S. Air Force 2nd Lieutenant Kazumi Udagawa escort the emperor and empress of Japan from the Court of Honor at the American Memorial Park during a historic visit by the royal family of Japan. Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko made their first-ever trip to commemorate a World War II battle. The royal couple took time on Saipan to visit sites and monuments that remember Japanese, island civilian and American fallen service members in order to affirm the friendship that has grown between Japan and the United States. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Nathanael T. Miller (RELEASED) (Source: Wikipedia)


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  • abdication: the process of giving up the position of being king or queen - การสละราชสมบัติ
  • advance: moving forward - การเคลื่อนไปข้างหน้า
  • advanced age: an old age, i.e., a person is very old -
  • ancient: very old - ที่เก่าแก่ ที่โบราณ
  • announcement: a spoken or written statement that informs people about something - การประกาศ
  • annual: happening every year - ทุกๆปีด, ประจำปี
  • aware (adj): knowing that something exists, or to have knowledge or experience of a particular thing - ทราบ, รับรู้
  • bill: a proposal for a law - ร่างกฎหมาย
  • carry out (verb): to do something, to finish and complete a task - ทำให้สมบูรณ์, ทำให้สำเร็จ
  • century: a period of one hundred years - ศตวรรษ
  • charged with: when somebody is given a responsibility or task - มอบหมายหน้าที่ให้
  • chrysanthemum (noun): a large, brightly coloured garden flower that is shaped like a ball and made up of many long narrow petals - ดอกเก๊กฮวย
  • constantly: continuously; all the time - อย่างต่อเนื่อง
  • constitution: the set of laws and basic principles that a country in governed by - รัฐธรรมนูญ
  • craft: to make objects, especially in a skilled way - ทำด้วยมือ
  • Crown Prince: (in some countries) a prince who will become king when the present king or queen dies or leaves office - ทายาทของกษัตริย์ที่เป็นผู้ชาย
  • current: of the present time - ปัจจุบัน
  • duty: something that you have to do because it is part of your job, or something that you feel is the right thing to do - หน้าที่, ความรับผิดชอบ
  • eldest: oldest -
  • emperor: the ruler of an empire, a group of countries or states that are controlled by one ruler or government - จักรพรรดิ์
  • era: a period of time that has a particular quality or character - ยุค, สมัย
  • expect (verb): to think or believe that something will happen or that somebody will do something - คาด, คาดว่า, คาดการณ์
  • expert: someone who has a particular skill or who knows a lot about a particular subject - ผู้เชี่ยวชาญ
  • fresh: clearly new and different; clean, bright, and attractive in appearance - ใหม่, กระชุ่มกระชวย, มีชีวิตชีวา
  • hint: to say or do something that shows, but not directly, what is meant - แย้ม
  • history (noun): all the events that happened in the past - ประวัติศาสตร์
  • imperial: related to the emperor or empire -
  • imperial house: royal family; a family consisting of a king or a queen, and their relatives - พระบรมวงศ์,ราชวงศ์,พระบรมวงศานุวงศ์
  • in light of: as a result of -
  • issue: a problem that needs to be considered - ประเด็น
  • manipulation: the process of influencing or controlling something in a clever and dishonest way -
  • match: to be the same as or very similar to something else - เท่าเทียมกันกับ, เท่ากันกับ
  • mechanism: a method or a system for achieving something - กลไก, วิธีการทำงาน, วิธีการ
  • mind: the part of a person that makes them able to be aware of things, to think and to feel; your ability to think and reason; your intelligence; the particular way that somebody thinks - สติปัญญา, จิตใจ, ความรู้สึกนึกคิด
  • monarchs: kings and queens - กษัตริย์หรือผู้ครองประเทศ
  • one-off: happening only once, i.e., not repeated - ครั้งเดียว โอกาสเดียวเท่านั้น
  • open a can of worms: create problems -
  • option: choice - ตัวเลือก
  • panel: a group of people who make decisions or judgments - คณะกรรมการ
  • politician: a person whose job is concerned with politics, especially as an elected member of parliament, etc. - นักการเมือง
  • prepare (verb): put in order, get ready - เตรียม, เตรียมตัว, เตรียมพร้อม, จัดเตรียม, ตระเตรียม
  • prepared to: ready to do ... -
  • press conference: an official meeting where someone makes a formal statement about a particular issue or event to journalists and answers their questions about it - การแถลงข่าว
  • pursue: to work at something or carry it out - ทำให้ลุล่วง
  • recommendation: a suggestion for how to solve a problem, deal with a situation - ข้อเสนอแนะ
  • reportedly: as reported (often used for showing that you are not certain that something you are reporting is true) - ตามที่รายงาน
  • rise to the occasion: to deal successfully with a problem or situation that is especially difficult - แสวงหาสิ่งที่ท้าทาย, ใช้ความพยายามอย่างมาก
  • role: the position or purpose that someone or something has in a situation, organisation, society or relationship - บทบาท
  • scholar: someone who studies a particular subject and knows a lot about it, especially a subject that is not scientific - นักวิชาการ
  • sensitive: needed to be dealt with very carefully to not cause anger or offence - ที่ละเอียดอ่อน
  • shaken: shocked, upset or frightened by something - วิตก กังวล
  • sorting out: to deal satisfactorily or successfully with a problem, a situation, or a person who is having difficulties - จักการ แก้ปัญหา
  • step down: resign or leave from a high position or job - ลาออก, ลาออกจากตำแหน่ง
  • subject (noun): a thing or person that is being discussed, described or dealt with - ตัวหลัก, ผู้รับบท, หัวข้อ, ผู้รับการทดสอบ
  • subject to: affected by - ได้รับผล
  • suggest: to mention an idea or a plan for somebody else to think about - เสนอ, เสนอแนะ
  • symbolic: representing something important, but in this case, not the real thing - เป็นสัญญาณ เป็นสัญลักษณ์
  • take on: accept work or responsibilities and say that you will do it -
  • thorny: causing difficulty or disagreement - มีหนาม,ยุ่งยาก,มีอุปสรรคมาก,ลำบากมาก
  • throne: a special chair used by a king or queen to sit on at ceremonies - ราชบัลลังก์
  • unknown (adj.): someone who you do not know who they are; unfamiliar - ที่ไม่รู้, ที่ไม่เป็นเป็นรู้จัก
  • wage: to start or continue a war or fight - ประกาศสงคราม
  • wage war: to start or continue a war or fight - ต่อสู้กับ, เปิดศึก
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