Imperial Household Agency officials deny reports on Emperor’s abdication intent

“There is no such fact at all,” Shinichiro Yamamoto, vice grand steward of the agency, told reporters Wednesday night. “The Emperor has refrained from making remarks on the Imperial House Law and the Imperial household system in light of his constitutional status.”

He reiterated that no one in the agency, including its head, has heard that the Emperor plans to cede the throne alive.

Noriyuki Kazaoka, grand steward of the agency, separately told journalists that it is “totally unthinkable” that the Emperor voiced his willingness to abdicate, an act that is not stipulated by the law.

Pointing out that only parliament can make a decision on the law and the system, Kazaoka stressed, “The Emperor has never said how they should be.”

Senior officials of the Imperial Household Agency have categorically denied news reports that Japanese Emperor Akihito informed an agency-linked person of his intention to abdicate the Chrysanthemum Throne to Crown Prince Naruhito in a few years. (Jiji Press)

NHK has learned that Japanese Emperor Akihito has expressed his intention to abdicate while he is alive and hand over his position to Crown Prince Naruhito within several years. (NHK)

Kyoto Prefectural Police have arrested the boss and a high-ranking member of an organized crime group for the supply of illegal drugs, reports the Sankei Shimbun. (Tokyo Reporter)

A man of no fixed address was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly killing a woman by injecting a substance into her body. (Tokyo Reporter)

People in southwestern Japan are still trying to find places to stay and rebuild their lives 3 months after the first in a series of earthquakes hit the region. (NHK)

Some foreign media outlets have reported as breaking news Japanese Emperor Akihito’s intention to step down in the coming years. (NHK)

China is accusing Japan of manipulating the international tribunal that ruled against Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea on Tuesday, a likely attempt to keep the public from blaming the country’s leadership for losing the case. (Nikkei)

Nissan Motor Co. said Wednesday that it plans to launch a Serena minivan equipped with autonomous driving technology designed for expressway use in single-lane traffic in late August. (

The Japanese government has nearly halved its real gross domestic product growth estimate for fiscal 2016 to 0.9 pct from 1.7 pct, the Cabinet Office said Wednesday. (Jiji Press)

Honda Motor Co. said it is introducing a motor for hybrid vehicles that will not need heavy rare-earth minerals, as Japan’s carmakers look to circumvent sourcing the materials from China. (

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