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  #361  
Old 05-02-2017, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
What do you mean with out of sync? The current Government has issued legislation to enable the Emperor to abdicate. That is in line with the poll you projected, I must say.
It is a you know the nationalists within the already conservative government, who all the times have been reluctant to grant the Emperor his wish to abdicate. And making it a one off.
As for women... No way, can't be done, impossible!

The nationalist votes are however crucial for the government, hence all the foot-dragging and the refusal, so far, to even discuss the possibility of females in line for the throne. Despite the serious lack of spares.
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  #362  
Old 05-02-2017, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
The current Government has issued legislation to enable the Emperor to abdicate. That is in line with the poll you projected, I must say.
The bill (it has not been submitted to the Diet) will be one-off legislation for Akihito, which is supported by only 25% of respondents to the poll. The majority (68%) supports Akihito's wish to set up a permanent system of abdication for future emperors. A mere 4% endorse Prime Minister Abe's opposition to abdications.

The poll shows that the majority opposes Abe's policies towards female emperors, female-lineage emperors, female-headed branches, and restoration of male branches.

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Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
The nationalist votes are however crucial for the government, hence all the foot-dragging and the refusal, so far, to even discuss the possibility of females in line for the throne. Despite the serious lack of spares.
Mr. Abe even refuses to discuss enabling females to remain part of the imperial family (with no succession rights) after marriage.
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  #363  
Old 05-19-2017, 04:23 AM
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Japan cabinet approves law to let Emperor Akihito abdicate - ITV News

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sits beside Japanese Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Keiichi Ishii and Japanese Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso while attending a cabinet meeting at his official residence in Tokyo on May 19, 2017. The Japanese government on May 19, 2017 approved a one-off bill allowing aging Emperor Akihito to step down from the Chrysanthemum Throne in the first imperial abdication in two centuries.

http://3.t.cdn.belga.be/belgaimage:1...ff5&m=iannkdhh

"EMPEROR Akihito, who has spent nearly three decades on Japan’s throne, will step down on April 30, 2019 – the first abdication by a Japanese monarch in about two centuries. The Yomiuri Shimbun speaks to modern Japanese history specialist, Kobe College Associate Professor Hideya Kawanishi, about issues related to the abdication of the Emperor."


https://www.thestar.com.my/news/regi...uit-the-times/
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  #364  
Old 05-19-2017, 04:43 AM
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Thanks! Another step closer.

Japan gov't OKs bill to allow 1st abdication of emperor in 200 yrs - The Mainichi
Quote:
[…]

The bill is set to be submitted to the Diet later in the day, with the government expecting its enactment by the end of the current Diet session in mid-June.

[…]

A series of ritual ceremonies will be held over a period of a year for the accession of the new emperor. The government is also planning to hold an abdication ceremony for the first time in around two centuries by studying ceremonial practices in the past.

After Crown Prince Naruhito ascends the throne, his younger brother Prince Akishino, 51, will be the next in line to the throne. Prince Akishino's annual budget allocation for his private expenses will increase threefold to 91.5 million yen ($822,000), according to the bill.

[…]
Japan Moves to Allow Its Emperor to Abdicate. But Just This Once. - The New York Times

Japan may announce new Imperial era name in summer 2018 | The Japan Times

Quote:
The Japanese government is considering announcing in advance the date for Emperor Akihito’s abdication and the new era name in summer 2018, officials said Thursday.

Emperor Akihito’s abdication and Crown Prince Naruhito’s accession to the Chrysanthemum Throne are highly likely to take place in late December 2018, the officials also said.

The new era that will follow the current Heisei Era is seen starting on Jan. 1, 2019. The government hopes to give the nation four to five months to prepare for the era change, according to the officials.

“We hope the Imperial succession will be smooth,” an official said.

[...]

The procedures to set the new name will be basically the same as those followed at the time of the previous era change to Heisei from Showa in 1989.

The government will pick one from among several candidate names that will be proposed by academic experts.

It will make the selection after hearing opinions from intellectuals and the leaders of both chambers of the Diet. But the government will not seek public comments.

[…]
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  #365  
Old 05-19-2017, 06:26 AM
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Indeed, if he lives that long...
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  #366  
Old 05-19-2017, 02:42 PM
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Thank you for the updates.
It should not take this long for him to be "allowed" to abdicate. Hopefully he is healthy enough and can enjoy his retirement.
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  #367  
Old 05-19-2017, 02:53 PM
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Thanks for the update!
It is sad to see Emperor Akihito abdicating. Age is a valid reason to do so. Still one feels sad to see an end of the epoch.
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  #368  
Old 05-22-2017, 10:07 PM
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Emperor Akihito shocked by conservative experts' remarks that 'emperors should just pray' - The Mainichi

Quote:
The comment that "the Emperor should just perform imperial rituals" made by conservative members of the panel at a November 2016 hearing came as a great shock to the Emperor. His strong displeasure with the remark was communicated to the prime minister's office by parties related to the Imperial Household Agency.

In response to the fact that the government panel's debate about abdication was headed toward allowing for a one-time exception for Emperor Akihito, the Emperor said that such an exception would be considered selfish on his part, and sought the establishment of a system that would make it possible for any emperor to abdicate. Emperor Akihito also reportedly said, "I did not think that my will would be twisted into something it wasn't," expressing dissatisfaction with the government's plans.

"His Majesty was disconsolate," a source close to the Imperial Household Agency said. "Does the government panel not know the activities in which the Emperor has been involved?"

At the hearing in question, conservative experts selected on the basis of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's preferences [...] made statements such as "The Imperial Family's meaning lies in its continued existence and its performance of imperial rituals. To ask any more of a role from an emperor is inappropriate." They argued that if the Emperor's official duties, such as visiting victims of disasters, were cut back to alleviate some of the burden on him, and he focused mostly on performing imperial rites, such as prayers at shrines, there was no need for him to abdicate.

A source who has a close personal relationship with Emperor Akihito said, "Such a statement is disrespectful toward the Emperor."

[...]

According to a senior Imperial Household Agency official, the remark amounted to a denial of how Emperor Akihito has lived his life, and apparently upset the Emperor greatly.

The agency official stated that the Emperor's discontent was only natural, and continued, "His Majesty is not performing imperial rites in the abstract. His face-to-face encounters with individual members of the public constitute the building blocks of his prayers for the peace, well-being and serenity of the people. Without his interactions with the public, his prayers would be vacuous."

[...]
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  #369  
Old 05-23-2017, 01:16 AM
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In Japanese imperial context these are very strong words! - Wonder how they will be received?
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  #370  
Old 05-23-2017, 11:07 PM
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Prince Akishino's reluctance for 'crown prince' title reflected in panel report: sources - The Mainichi
Quote:
Prince Akishino expressed his reluctance to take over the title of "kotaishi" (crown prince) upon the potential abdication of his father Emperor Akihito and his brother Crown Prince Naruhito's ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, apparently prompting a government panel to propose a different title, it has been learned.

[...] the expert panel had initially favored the idea of referring to Prince Akishino as "kotaishi" upon the Emperor's retirement. During a hearing in March, an expert said, "It would be possible to give Prince Akishino the title 'kotaishi' even without revising the Imperial House Law."

[...]

At an April 4 panel meeting, a participant stated, "In our history, the person who was first in line to the Imperial Throne was, in most cases, referred to as 'kotaishi,' even if the throne was previously held by his brother."

[...]

Later in April, however, a senior official at the prime minister's office suggested a proposal to an individual connected to the expert panel that Prince Akishino be given the title "koshi denka," among other proposals. The panel subsequently filed its final report with the prime minister, including that title.

[...]

According to government sources, Prince Akishino had confided to those close to him his reluctance to take over the title "kotaishi" on the grounds that he was not raised as a crown prince.
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  #371  
Old 06-02-2017, 03:12 PM
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Japanese Emperor Akihito's abdication moved a step closer on Friday when the lower house of parliament approved a bill paving the way for the first such abdication in nearly two centuries.

Abdication of Japan's emperor moves a step closer | Reuters
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  #372  
Old 06-02-2017, 03:40 PM
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Special bill on Emperor Akihito's abdication could serve as precedent: Suga - The Mainichi
Quote:
A special bill to allow Emperor Akihito's abdication could serve as a precedent, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on June 1.

Legislators started deliberating on the bill at the House of Representatives Committee on Rules and Administration and it passed the committee the same day. Suga has taken the position that it would be desirable for the legislation to be a one-off measure restricted to Emperor Akihito, but stated, "It could become a precedent for the future."
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  #373  
Old 06-09-2017, 02:11 AM
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Bill allowing Emperor Akihito to abdicate passes in Diet: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:
A historic special-case bill allowing Emperor Akihito to abdicate passed the Diet on June 9 with Upper House approval, which will make him the first emperor to step down in about 200 years.

The legislation was approved in a vote in an Upper House plenary session.

The government will decide on the date for his abdication within three years from the day of promulgation of the legislation. In doing so, it will consider opinions by the Imperial Household Council, which includes imperial family members, the prime minister, top officials of both chambers of the Diet and justices at the Supreme Court.

[...]
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  #374  
Old 06-10-2017, 09:18 PM
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Imperial Household Agency mulls expansion in staff for abdication | The Japan Times
Quote:
The Imperial Household Agency is considering asking for more personnel to deal with the extra work expected for the abdication of Emperor Akihito.

[…]

The agency will create new posts for attending to the families of the retired monarch and the new koshi, officials said, adding that it also needs to increase chamberlain staff for the current Crown Prince.

The agency has a total staff of 1,000. Of them, 77 chamberlains support the Emperor and Empress, while 50 work for the Crown Prince’s family and 19 for Prince Akishino’s family.

The number of chamberlains for the joko and jokogo is expected to remain around the current level for the couple. Meanwhile, the staff of the families of the Crown Prince and Prince Akishino will expand after the Imperial succession.

The Emperor intends to pass on all public duties, namely acts of state prescribed in the Constitution and his work as a symbol of the state, once he has abdicated, according to Shinichiro Yamamoto, grand steward of the agency.

But he is expected to continue his private activities, including his studies on gobies, tennis, art appreciation and meetings with people close to him.

It is unclear whether the joko and jokogo will visit disaster-hit areas, receive guests from other countries or attend such functions as banquets at the Imperial Palace.

Another issue is whether to expand the Imperial Guard, which is discussing how to protect the families of the Emperor and Prince Akishino as well as Princess Aiko, daughter of the Crown Prince, after the abdication.
[…]
Citizens welcome law allowing Emperor Akihito to abdicate throne | The Japan Times
Quote:
[…]

“I hope the Emperor will relieve his fatigue,” said Miyuki Yamada, 65, who fled from the town of Namie in Fukushima Prefecture after the triple core meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant triggered by the March 2011 mega-quake and tsunami.

Yamada, who is living in public housing built for nuclear evacuees in the city of Fukushima, suffered an unruptured cerebral aneurysm during the evacuation.

She said she was relieved by the sympathetic words of the Emperor when he and Empress Michiko visited the prefecture in July 2015.

“I will always treasure those words,” she said.

Shigeru Chiyokawa, 67, hosted the Imperial Couple when they stayed at his Sanriku Hana Hotel Hamagiku in the town of Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, in September last year.

“The Emperor’s tight trip schedule seemed to be imposing a heavy burden on him, given his age,” Chiyokawa said. The town was hit hard by the 2011 tsunami.

“The Heisei Era has seen many disasters, and the Emperor has come to encourage affected people each and every time,” Chiyokawa said. “I hope he will watch the next era in peace.”

[…]

“It was good that the abdication issue was settled within a year (of the broadcast),” said Masakatsu Takara, 77, head of a group seeking to preserve the memory a U.S. submarine’s attack on the Tsushima Maru, a Japanese ship that was carrying hundreds of students during World War II.

The attack killed more than 1,400 people.

A survivor of the attack off Kagoshima Prefecture in August 1944, Takara guided the Imperial Couple during their visit to the Tsushima Maru Memorial Museum in Okinawa in 2014.

“The children were victims of a war started for the sake of the emperor,” Takara said. “But it was very good that they were given some solace by Emperor Akihito’s visit to the museum,” he said.

“I hope the Emperor will live long and in peace,” said Isamu Kakida, 72, who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, in the closing days of the war. [...]

“I felt the Emperor’s attraction as a person” during his visit to the facility in December 2014, Kakida said. “I guess his official duties are extremely tough. It’s good that he will now be allowed to step down.”

Some people voiced disappointment that the new legislation applies to only the current Emperor instead of providing a permanent abdication system, which the Emperor is believed to favor.

“The result didn’t end up in line with his majesty’s thoughts,” said Akira Hashimoto, 84, a former classmate of Emperor Akihito.

“I believe behind Emperor Akihito’s message last August was consideration for future Emperors, since he has realized that it is now difficult for him to perform his official duties with full body and soul,” Hashimoto said.

“I now think that the video message was his version of the ‘humanity declaration’ by Emperor Hirohito following the end of World War II,” Hashimoto said. “I think Emperor Akihito wanted to say that the Emperor does have limitations, because he is a human.”
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  #375  
Old 06-11-2017, 03:16 AM
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Thanks, Prisma!

Careful talks needed to avoid 'duality' of state symbol after Emperor steps down - The Mainichi
Quote:
Under the special law, Emperor Akihito will become a "joko" -- a retired emperor -- after his eldest son Crown Prince Naruhito ascends to the Imperial Throne. Opposition Democratic Party lawmaker Hiroyuki Nagahama raised a question during a June 7 House of Councillors special committee over activities of Emperor Akihito after he retires, saying, "The problem of duality of the symbol or (the emperor's) power depends heavily on the joko's activities."

In response, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, "The matter will be debated thoroughly within the Imperial Household Agency and decisions for individual cases will be given after consulting (with the joko)."

In the meantime, Imperial Household Agency Grand Steward Shinichiro Yamamoto told reporters during a regular news conference on June 8 that the agency cannot predict or comment on the joko's activities at the moment.

The agency has presented its views that the joko will step down from all "acts in matters of state" defined under the Constitution as well as public activities based on his position as the symbol of the country in favor of the new emperor. At the same time, the agency has not given clear prospects on what the retired emperor will be doing.

Yamamoto avoided specifying the joko's activities during the June 8 news conference, and instead said what was important was the will of Emperor Akihito, Crown Prince Naruhito and Prince Akishino on the matter and commented, "We will make various efforts toward meeting their will."
Quote:
Concerns over possible duality of the symbol of the state were raised during meetings of the government's expert panel to debate Emperor Akihito's abdication ahead of Diet deliberations on the special law. During hearings of scholars and experts on the issue, at least one person pointed out that the public's attention could be focused on the joko rather than the new emperor and voiced concern that it could devalue the authority of the new emperor.

The Imperial Household Agency dismissed the concerns of duality of the symbol that the emperor represents based on the premise that all public duties will be performed by the new emperor. At the same time, it is likely that Emperor Akihito, who has gained widespread public popularity through his activities as the symbol of the state, will be remembered as "the ideal emperor" among the people.

Depending on the nature of the joko's activities, his presence could become a burden on the new emperor. This is one of the reasons why senior officials at the Imperial Household Agency are careful when commenting on the joko's activities.
Quote:
While the agency is set to prepare for its reorganization following the passage of the special legislation, the number of staff members to be assigned for the joko is one of many subjects that need to be discussed regarding the retired emperor's activities. An agency source says now that the special abdication law has been passed, serious discussions over the matter of the joko are starting. The source added, "Emperor Akihito will mull over his post-retirement activities while giving utmost consideration to the new emperor and for him to smoothly build relationships with the public. The value of our missions will be put to the test as to how we will support (Emperor Akihito's decisions)."
1. Is there going to be a ''duality'' problem of the symbol of the state? No, I don't think so. It's just that these Japanese politicians/experts love to create problems.

2. And yes, it is likely that Emperor Akihito, who has gained widespread public popularity through his activities as the symbol of the state, will be remembered as the ideal emperor among the people, but is that a problem for the new Emperor? No, it isen't.

3. Will Crown Prince Naruhito as Emperor become as popular as his father? No way, but that's not a problem either.

4. I'm really gonna miss Emperor Akihito and Emperor Michiko after the abdication. They are both two gentle and warm persons who have done a very good job in very difficult positions. But what do I think about Naruhito and Masako as Emperor and Empress? I like both of them and I think they are going to do a great job. And yes, they both seems a bit shy (that's not a problem) and she (as we all know) has her mental problems, but she's gotten better (quite amazing when you think of the pressure she has had to live with).
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  #376  
Old 06-11-2017, 04:06 AM
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Agree. No duality. - The Emperor is no longer seen as a semi-god.

It's nonsense an ex-emperor Akihito, in retirement, will over-shadow his son. Not to mention that considering his age, he may not be around that much longer anyway.

No one seems to point out that a live ex-emperor Akihito will be his son's best advisor.

Expanding the household? 1.000 is a huge household as it is, considering the size of the Imperial Family! What on earth are all these people doing?
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  #377  
Old 06-11-2017, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
Agree. No duality. - The Emperor is no longer seen as a semi-god.

It's nonsense an ex-emperor Akihito, in retirement, will over-shadow his son. Not to mention that considering his age, he may not be around that much longer anyway.

No one seems to point out that a live ex-emperor Akihito will be his son's best advisor.

Expanding the household? 1.000 is a huge household as it is, considering the size of the Imperial Family! What on earth are all these people doing?
You can find the answer here:
Organization of the Imperial Household Agency - The Imperial Household Agency

Organization and Functions of the Imperial Household Agency - The Imperial Household Agency
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  #378  
Old 06-11-2017, 08:23 AM
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Interesting. Thanks, Spheno

I notice a considerable number of the departments are covered by ministries in other monarchies.
But even considering that, I'd say off hand that the household could easily be halved. Considering the size of the Imperial Family. especially the working members, the household is IMO too large.
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  #379  
Old 06-11-2017, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
Interesting. Thanks, Spheno

I notice a considerable number of the departments are covered by ministries in other monarchies.
But even considering that, I'd say off hand that the household could easily be halved. Considering the size of the Imperial Family. especially the working members, the household is IMO too large.
I don't think so. Perhaps, you see Japan as a small country, but it is almost 9 times larger than Denmark and Japan's population is more than 20 times bigger. The IHA works with people, organizes events, answers letters, sends invitations, etc.

For comparison, Buckingham Palace is the workplace of more than 800 people (UK population is smaller than Japan's).
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  #380  
Old 06-11-2017, 10:30 AM
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Oh I'm not only comparing the IHA with Denmark. And IMO 800 at Buckingham Palace is a bit on the large side as well.

But I look at the number of active members in the Imperial Family and their roles and duties.
The BRF have around 10 fully active adult members, plus an additional number of less active members. All of them combined have a lot of events, representations, protections, visits and so on and so on between them. That requires a considerable administration to make that work.
The Imperial Family basically consists of 5˝ adult working members and that's it.
So despite the size of Japan I think it's more apt to compare the size and workload of the Imperial Family to one of the European Continental families, who are required in general to cope with a considerably smaller staff.
In other royal families a lot of the jobs under the IHA are outsourced or covered by the state. And as such they are doing other jobs in between serving the royal family.
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