International News

Japan’s Cabinet approves Bill that paves way for Emperor Akihito’s abdication

The king is expected to be replaced by his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, by the end of 2018.

The Japanese cabinet on Friday approved a Bill that will allow Emperor Akihito to abdicate his throne by the end of next year, Reuters reported. Akihito had last year expressed a desire to step down as emperor, saying he was unable to discharge his duties properly. The abdication will be the first in Japan in over 200 years.

The 83-year-old Akihito will be replaced by his son, the 57-year-old Crown Prince Naruhito. The bill, expected to be passed by the government at the end of the current session, will authorise Akihito’s abdication as a one-time event, and not as a way out for future emperors wishing to delegate their responsibilities to others.

“The government hopes for the smooth passage of the legislation,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.

Akihito, who suffers from prostate and heart problems, had announced his decision to retire on television last year. In the pre-recorded message, Akihito had cited his illness, his age, and fatigue. He had lost confidence, he had said, in his capacity to serve as a symbol of national unity.

Since such a step was unheard of in the country, the Japanese parliament had to devise a way to honour the Emperor’s request. The request for abdication had led to several other problems, such as devising a new term for a retired king, and re-orienting the Japanese calendar in which a year usually coincides with the start of an Emperor’s reign.

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

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1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

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2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

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