TOKYO Ė Japanís Crown Prince Naruhito hinted on Thursday he is prepared to ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne once his father, Emperor Akihito, has stepped down.
Naruhito, who turned 57 on Thursday, said he has always been inspired by his parentsí sincere discharge of duties and that like them, he too, wished to continue sharing the joys and sorrows of the people.
This is also the first time that Naruhito, eldest son of 83-year-old Akihito, has spoken publicly about his fatherís desire to abdicate.
Akihito had announced his intention to abdicate the throne in August last year, citing failing health and old age.
The crown prince said he fully empathized with his fatherís decision, and that it was taken after due consultations.
The Japanese government has set up a committee to facilitate the abdication, the provision for which is not currently included in the Imperial Household Law and would require either an amendment or the creation of a special legislation.
Akihitoís abdication, if it goes through, will be the first in the country since that of Emperor Kokaku, 200 years ago.