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Titles for abdication are under review

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    As it prepares a special law to allow the emperor to abdicate, the Japanese government is considering the titles to be used for the emperor and empress after the abdication. Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko arrive March 2 for a meeting with family members of Japanese veterans living in Vietnam, at a hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The Japanese government is considering using the term “jokogo” as the title of the empress in case the emperor abdicates, it has been learned.

Under the current Imperial Household system, after an emperor dies, the empress, who is his spouse, is then called “kotaigo.”

The government, as it prepares a special law to allow the emperor to abdicate, is considering the titles to be used for the emperor and empress after the abdication.

It has been determined that “joko,” which had been used consistently throughout history, remains appropriate for the Emperor.

“Kotaigo” has been interpreted as “empress dowager” in the years after World War II. The opinion has been raised that using such a title in the case of the Emperor’s abdication could lead to a misunderstanding that she is the empress of an emperor who has died.

The spouse of an emperor who abdicated in the past was, depending on the era, called “kotaigo,” “kogo” or “nyoin.” With the need to decide on a new title, “jokogo” has emerged as the leading proposal as the term for the spouse of a “joko.”

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