(REUTERS) Japanese Emperor Akihito, 82, in a rare video address to the public on Monday, said he worried that age may make it difficult for him to fully carry out his duties, remarks widely seen as suggesting he wants to abdicate.
Public broadcaster NHK reported last month that Akihito, who has had heart surgery and been treated for prostate cancer, wanted to step down in a few years - which would be unprecedented in modern Japan.
Once considered divine, the emperor is defined in the constitution as a symbol of the state and the unity of the people. He has no political power.
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