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Japan's parliament passes law to allow Emperor Akihito's abdication

A new law passed by Japan's parliament on Friday will let 82-year-old Emperor Akihito abdicate, becoming the first monarch to do so in 200 years.

In August, Akihito said that because of health issues, he wanted to step down. The government backs male-only succession, which would make Crown Prince Naruhito, 57, next in line. In post-World War II Japan, the emperor cannot get involved in politics or have any governmental powers, but serves as "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people," USA Today reports. Under the new law, Akihito has three years to abdicate.