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Panel stresses clean break once emperor steps down

Post-succession heir to be treated as crown prince

TOKYO -- A report submitted Friday by a Japanese government panel on abdication emphasized the need to transfer all the emperor's duties to his successor to ensure that only the sitting monarch serves as symbol of the state.

The panel advised using the historical title joko for the retired emperor, rather than alternatives such as daijo tenno -- the expanded form of joko, which includes the Japanese word for emperor -- or "previous emperor." These "should be avoided as they give the impression that multiple emperors coexist," the report said.

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