The Japanese Cabinet on May 19 approved one-off legislation that would allow 83-year-old Emperor Akihito to abdicate and pass the Chrysanthemum throne to his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, Kyodo reported. The bill still requires parliamentary approval. Should the emperor vacate the throne, it would be the first such event in the Imperial House of Japan in roughly 200 years. Akihito assumed the throne in 1990, replacing his father, Hirohito. The emperor first made public his desire to step down last August, citing his age and declining health, but there is not currently a mechanism in Japanese law allowing him to do so. The bill is reportedly tailored specifically to Akihito’s situation, in order to prevent his successors from easily following suit. Abdication is unlikely to take place until the end of 2018.