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Foreign media cover Japanese emperor's hope to step down

TOKYO -- The news that Emperor Akihito wants to end his reign has been widely reported abroad, with such outlets as the BBC calling the move "unprecedented" in modern Japan.

Akihito "reportedly does not wish to remain emperor if he has to reduce his official duties," the BBC wrote on its website. Its coverage included background on the emperor, including that he succeeded his father, Hirohito, in 1989. The piece mentioned Akihito's televised address after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, calling it a "highly unusual step."

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