Japan's ageing emperor's abdication is approved amid worries of a succession crisis as eldest granddaughter, 25, is set to become a commoner when she marries her college sweetheart | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Japan's ageing emperor's abdication is approved amid worries of a succession crisis as eldest granddaughter, 25, is set to become a commoner when she marries her college sweetheart

The Japanese government has approved Emperor Akihito's abdication from the Chrysanthemum Throne in the first such case in two centuries.

The one-off bill, signed off by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet, has sparked a possible succession crisis in the same week that his eldest granddaughter Princess Mako gave up her place in the Palace by agreeing to marry a 'commoner'.

As with all female members of the Imperial family, Mako, 25, would lose her royal status upon marriage to a commoner under a controversial law which does not apply to male 'royals'.

The 83-year-old Akihito could step down the end of December 2018 and be replaced by his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, reports have suggested.

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