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This post was edited by abramicus at 2016-8-11 13:29|
News reports indicated he wanted to abdicate, but there were no pressing reasons forwarded, except that he had had a 4-hour surgergy recently but did well afterwards.
The more likely explanation is that he did not want the Pacifist Constitution to be changed, and Abe is determined to change it. Crown Prince Naruhito is also opposed to changing the Pacifist Constitution. By abdicating, Emperor Akihito is ensuring that his legacy of the Pacifist Constitution will continue to be opposed by the next Japanese emperor designate, and obviously, he wants to make sure Naruhito is the next emperor, even if he does not have a son, which puts his brother and nephew next in line after him.
But why would a Japanese emperor refuse to be given more powers than he currently holds?
To be honest, a change in the Pacifist Constitution will not benefit the Japanese people in the end, just as the Meiji Constitution itself did not benefit the Japanese people in the end. It will all end in the same way - a total defeat for the Japanese people - because Japan's resources are limited, its land is limited, and it has no strategic rear to retreat to in times of defeat, unlike China, Korea, Russia and other countries it had attacked in the 20th century. Japan, by her natural limitations, is forced to play the Russian Roulette and hope that it survives every step of the way. Like the Gambler's Ruin, having the edge is useless, when defeat is inevitable. This time, Japan would not only lose the war, but also its chance for peace, which will be a hundred times worse than its defeat in WWII.
So, why would a Japanese emperor who cares for his people, want to trade the good fortune of peace and prosperity under the Pacifist Constitution, for 100% certain death and destruction under a new Meiji Constitution?