Japanese Emperor Akihito 'plans to abdicate'

Japan's Emperor Akihito has announced his intention to abdicate in the coming years, public broadcaster NHK reports.

The 82-year-old, who has had health problems in recent years, did not cite a reason for his decision.

He has been head of state for 27 years and his abdication would be an unprecedented move in modern Japan.

Crown Prince Naruhito, 56, is next in line to succeed him.