Biography of Emperor Hirohito by ex-Kyodo News reporter published - The Mainichi Daily News
[...] Over 1,000 pages long, the two-volume "Ningen Showa Tenno
" is based on research and interviews with the emperor and other members of the imperial household by Hiroshi Takahashi, who began reporting on imperial affairs in 1974.
Takahashi covered imperial affairs from 1974 while working for Kyodo and established himself as an expert in the field. Later he became a professor at Shizuoka University of Welfare and sat on a government panel on imperial issues in 2005 to debate whether a woman should be allowed to ascend the throne.
The book not only chronicles the life of the late emperor and the Showa era in which he reigned through 1989, but also discusses various challenges facing the current imperial family.
One of the key issues now being debated in Japan is whether the law should be changed to allow female members of the royal family to maintain their imperial status after marriage to a commoner. The current Imperial House Law stipulates that female members lose their royal status if they wed outside the imperial family.
Concerns have been raised that the number of royal family members could see a sharp decline in the future since a good number of unmarried royals are women. The issue could jeopardize the imperial succession in the event that there is no male heir to mount the throne.
"It might be Emperor Akihito himself who is most worried (about the matter)
," Takahashi says in his book.