Japanese Emperor Akihito is considering his abdication in coming years, broadcaster NHK reported Wednesday, citing unnamed government sources.
The 82-year-old emperor, who is in declining health, has conveyed his intention to the Imperial Household Agency, NHK reported, citing agency officials.
The emperor said he wants to relinquish the Chrysanthemum Throne to Crown Prince Naruhito before coming too frail to carry out his duties fully, NHK said.
The emperor has already informed his family members and the agency is planning an occasion for him to address the public, the report said.
The last succession from a living emperor took place about 200 years ago.
Akihito, who ascended the throne in 1989 after the death of his father, Hirohito, underwent surgery for prostate cancer in 2003 and suffered stress-related health problems in 2008.
In 2011, the emperor was hospitalized for more than two weeks with bronchitis. He underwent heart bypass surgery in 2012.