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  #181  
Old 08-16-2016, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana
Yes. But support has decreased; approximately 75% supported a female emperor ten years ago.
But could that have something to do with the fact that no boy had been born in the "next" generation at that time and it did look like there were only girls to be successor in that generation? (next generation i mean the children of princess Naruhito and Akishino).
P.Hisahito was born a little under 10 years ago if i'm not mistaken..
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  #182  
Old 08-17-2016, 04:09 AM
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Emperor Akihito’s finest hour


Japan's Monarchy Explained - Video
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  #183  
Old 08-17-2016, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Lee-Z View Post
But could that have something to do with the fact that no boy had been born in the "next" generation at that time and it did look like there were only girls to be successor in that generation? (next generation i mean the children of princess Naruhito and Akishino).
P.Hisahito was born a little under 10 years ago if i'm not mistaken..
Yes September 2006. He's third in line now after his uncle and his father.
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  #184  
Old 08-21-2016, 11:51 AM
eya eya is offline
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"Who wants to Marry an Emperor?"

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  #185  
Old 08-23-2016, 09:50 AM
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With deft political move, Japan's Emperor seeks to cement the role he created | The Japan Times

Quote:
Yuichi Nishimura, a young constitutional scholar at Hokkaido University, told the Asahi that whoever leaked the [abdication] news wanted to appear to be bypassing the Cabinet, which has authority over the Imperial Household Agency. […] The government, which currently represents the desires of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party, is working to revise the Constitution, and one of the things they want to change is the status of the Emperor from a "symbol" (shōchō) of the state to its "sovereign head" (genshu), which is what he was before Japan lost World War II.

Toshiya Sakiyama, a reporter who covers the Imperial household, speculated on TBS Radio that the Cabinet probably knew about the Emperor’s "intentions" before the leak and did nothing to stop it, but he "can’t confirm" that supposition. In any case, if the Cabinet didn’t know about it, then it was remiss in its responsibilities, because while the Emperor’s duties are stipulated in the Constitution, those he actually performs are carried out at "the discretion of the Cabinet." […] His visit last week to Nippon Budokan Hall to express remorse for World War II is not something he’s required to do, and thus he can only do it with the permission of the Cabinet.

The same goes for all those trips he and Empress Michiko have made to former battle sites to pray for those who perished in the war, not to mention visiting disaster areas to commiserate with evacuees. These "duties" (kōmu) are, legally speaking, not duties at all. Real kōmu are restricted to religious rituals, rubber-stamping documents and meeting foreign dignitaries. These newer tasks are simply things the Emperor wants to do, and now that he’s established a precedent in the minds of the people, he insists that his heirs continue this work, which is why he wants to step down. […] As Nishimura points out, this "role" the Emperor has assumed negates that of "sovereign head of state."

[…] Sakiyama says he received information that the announcement of the Emperor’s intention to step down was originally going to be made on the Emperor’s birthday in December, and while no one in the media has said so explicitly, the feeling is that it was moved up because of the LDP's victory in the Upper House election in July. Before the government starts fiddling with the national charter, the Emperor wants the people involved and thus has injected his "will" into the matter. Such a scheme is clearly political and outside the Emperor's job description, but when you create an occupation for yourself, you get to say how it’s carried out.
An Imperial appeal to the people- Nikkei Asian Review

Quote:
The aging monarch first signaled his intention to step down to family members and close aides about five years ago, according to the Imperial Household Agency, which released the video on Aug. 8. But the Japanese constitution forbids the emperor from saying anything with political implications, and the prime minister's office has been hesitant to address the emperor's wish, according to the agency.
"To move the discussion forward, we had no choice but to create an opportunity for the emperor to directly speak to the public about what he has been thinking," an agency official said.

[…]

It is not true that Akihito wants to retire early because of the heavy workload, an agency official said, adding that he is worried some people may have the mistaken impression that the emperor intends to relinquish the throne immediately.
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  #186  
Old 08-23-2016, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
Good, Tatiana-Marie. Looks like the Emperor has the public opinion on his side.
The government will now be forced to act.

Just as interesting is the question of gender. In contrasts to the conservatives, the general public don't seem to have that big a problem with a female emperor.
That is probably a topic for another thread, but I feel the uncertainty about possible future changes to the succession law is negative for the children of the Imperial Family. Right now, I assume Hisahito is being raised as the heir to the throne while Aiko and her family must have come to terms with the fact she will never become the Empress regnant. Can you imagine what would happen if, let's say 5 years from now, when Hisahito would be already 15 and Aiko would be almost 20, the Japanese Diet decided to change the law turning their lives upside down ? I don't see it happening in this generation (maybe in the next one).
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  #187  
Old 08-23-2016, 10:38 AM
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I agree. If such a change doesn't take place or is at least an official agreement is announced to change the law of succession within the next couple of years. - Such a change is hardly going to be implemented until the next generation.
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  #188  
Old 09-01-2016, 10:05 AM
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Hisahito being stripped of his position is out of the question. The people do not want it, and anyway, Prime Minister Abe's term is not due to expire until September 2018 and it may be extended.


Quote:
For example, in a July 16 Sankei Shimbun commentary, University of Tokyo Professor Emeritus and Japan Conference (Nippon Kaigi) Vice-Chairman Keiichiro Kobori opined in exquisitely polite, obtuse terms that the Emperor should not — could not? — retire, as doing so would potentially destroy the Japanese kokutai (national polity). For the historically inclined, to even see the term "kokutai" make an appearance in this context is unnerving, as it is closely associated with the age of prewar fascism, [...]

On Aug. 7 the Sankei Shimbun and Fuji TV conducted a public opinion poll in which 84.7 percent of respondents said they favored amending the Constitution to allow the Emperor to abdicate. Given that amendment of the Constitution (as opposed to the IHL [Imperial House Law]) may not actually be necessary to enable the Emperor to do so, this was more than a little misleading and suggests a pro-amendment agenda that lies elsewhere — in the tweaks that conservatives will doubtless wish to slip in "while we're at it."

More recently, the Cabinet Legislation Bureau has reportedly expressed the view that constitutional amendment is necessary for abdication. Based on a seemingly strained reading of Article 1, which says the Emperor derives his position from the "will of the people," this view comes a bit late, weeks after others have opined that no amendment is necessary, and reeks of "task-based" constitutional interpretation. This becomes more apparent when you look back at the CLB's willingness to dramatically amend its views on the far more specific wording of Article 9.

[...]

Another objection to abdication seems to be that it would involve essentially acknowledging the status of Emperor to be that of a mere yakushoku, a job or role that can be cast off. Some conservatives seem still wedded to the Emperor being an indelible status with deeper significance, inextricably tied to the nation's historical roots and religious traditions. [...] For his own part, Emperor Akihito made his own views on the subject clear in his address by repeatedly describing what he does by using some variation of the term tsutome, a term generally used to refer to a role or function, not an embodiment.
Japan fumbles for the legal path to an 'Emprexit' | The Japan Times



The article also sums up how the current Imperial House Law and Article 2 of the Constitution were "revolutionary when written".


I agree, the CLB's reading of the Constitution is very "seemingly strained".

Quote:
Article 1. The Emperor shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the People, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power.

Article 2. The Imperial Throne shall be dynastic and succeeded to in accordance with the Imperial House Law passed by the Diet.
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  #189  
Old 09-01-2016, 06:47 PM
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That sounds mostly like a big song and dance show in order to prevent the Emperor from abdicating.
If they can't come up with something better, they don't have a good hand.

Emperors have abdicated before in Japanese history - and these emperors where semi-gods!
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  #190  
Old 09-02-2016, 09:10 PM
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In his broadcast, the Emperor came close to expressing his desire to abdicate, but held back, it has been claimed, because that would have violated Article 4 of the Constitution:

The Emperor shall perform only such acts in matters of state as are provided for in this Constitution and he shall not have powers related to government.
Yet, it seems to me, the Emperor made one comment that not only violates the Constitution, but also fundamentally changes the role of the Emperor:
I have considered that the first and foremost duty of the Emperor is to pray for peace and happiness of all the people.
But prayer is not an official or constitutional duty of the Emperor at all, let alone the first and foremost. Article 7 lists the duties of the Emperor as:
The Emperor, with the advice and approval of the Cabinet, shall perform the following acts in matters of state on behalf of the people:
Promulgation of amendments of the constitution, laws, cabinet orders and treaties.
Convocation of the Diet.
Dissolution of the House of Representatives.
Proclamation of general election of members of the Diet.
Attestation of the appointment and dismissal of Ministers of State and other officials as provided for by law, and of full powers and credentials of Ambassadors and Ministers.
Attestation of general and special amnesty, commutation of punishment, reprieve, and restoration of rights.
Awarding of honors.
Attestation of instruments of ratification and other diplomatic documents as provided for by law.
Receiving foreign ambassadors and ministers.
Performance of ceremonial functions.
Article 20 states that:
Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all. No religious organization shall receive any privileges from the State, nor exercise any political authority.
No person shall be compelled to take part in any religious act, celebration, rite or practice.
The State and its organs shall refrain from religious education or any other religious activity.
While the Emperor did not mention a particular religion, I don't see how prayer can be considered anything but a "religious activity." In essence, the Constitution stipulates that the Emperor should refrain from carrying out an activity that he considers the first and foremost duty of the Emperor. The Japanese Government seems to take the line that such religious activities can be classed as culturally based ceremonial functions, and therefore constitutional. If Shinto and Buddhist traditions can be accommodated under the current Constitution, it seems odd that the Imperial Household Law is suddenly a stumbling block to yet another cultural and historical tradition: the Retired Emperor.

The Constitution of Japan
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  #191  
Old 09-03-2016, 03:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chubb Fuddler View Post
Yet, it seems to me, the Emperor made one comment that not only violates the Constitution, but also fundamentally changes the role of the Emperor:
I have considered that the first and foremost duty of the Emperor is to pray for peace and happiness of all the people.

It's very much a reversal to the role of the emperors under the Shoguns.
Back then it was very much desired (read: demanded) that the court, and especially the emperor, devoted themselves to fine art and praying for the happiness and well-being of the people - albeit the Japanese people.
A very emphasized reversal I'd say!

And very subtle too, because who can be against the Emperor who prays for peace and happiness in a country with a pretty pacifist Constitution?
- That is, except for those nationalists who wish to change the Constitution and make it less pacifist...
And they can't go out and say: we don't want the Emperor to pray (and as such also speak) for peace and happiness.

So yes, the Emperor is here being very political, without being political at all.
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  #192  
Old 09-05-2016, 07:18 PM
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Government leaning toward special one-off legislation enabling Emperor to abdicate | The Japan Times
Quote:
The government is leaning toward adopting special legislation to enable the abdication of 82-year-old Emperor Akihito before discussing possible amendments to the Imperial House Law, sources said Monday.

Special legislation effective only for the current Emperor would not involve discussions on complicated Imperial House Law amendments, such as whether to set up a permanent abdication system, or whether to allow a married female member to stay within the Imperial family, the sources said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga declined to clarify the planned legislation, telling a regular news conference, “We are now discussing various kinds of things.”
[...]
In a nationwide telephone survey by Kyodo News in August, 85.7 percent of the 1,008 respondents said abdication should be legalized as an option for the Emperor and his successors by revising the Imperial House Law.

Launching full discussions on wide-ranging amendments now would delay legislation enabling any abdication, according to the sources.

Other problems include deciding conditions for accepting an abdication and the Emperor’s title after retiring.

The government is considering submitting relevant bills to the Diet next year, the sources said.
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  #193  
Old 09-06-2016, 10:50 AM
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That sounds like a good compromise and that's probably the most digestible solution for all parts.
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  #194  
Old 09-07-2016, 02:18 AM
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The Pope Was Allowed to Retire. Why Not the Emperor of Japan?
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  #195  
Old 09-07-2016, 02:31 AM
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It appears the IHA refuted a claim that Prince Akishino had indirect contact with a NHK reporter about abdication. As best as I can figure out from the Google translation, an article "FRIDAY" alleged Prince Akishino gave a "prepared facial expression" confirming the Emperor's abdication intention to a "Mr. A", who then contacted the NHK reporter. "Mr. A" is said to be a person familiar with the inner workings of the IHA and is aware of the Emperor's regular dining opportunities with his sons.

The IHA states Prince Akishino is very cautious about the handling of information and there is no "Mr. A."

IHA press release
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  #196  
Old 09-07-2016, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
According to government sources, the expert panel was initially expected to be launched in September. However, a postponement until October or later is emerging. A senior government official said, “It is better to start the discussion after public opinion can be deemed to have settled down.”

Without making assumptions about an abdication by the Emperor, the government intends to ask panel members for their opinions about official duties so that an emperor can continue attending various events, and also whether to allow a regent or others who substitute for an emperor to perform official duties such as matters of state.
Abdication panel to target core issue - The Japan News


Quote:
"We looked into whether it is possible for the Emperor to abdicate, but it is difficult," Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kazuhiro Sugita told the Imperial Household Agency this past spring. Sugita was heading a top secret team at the prime minister's office that was formed after the Imperial Household Agency conveyed the Emperor's feelings.
[…]
Eventually, the team concluded that a regency should be established instead of allowing the Emperor's abdication, even though it took into account the Emperor's negative views on the regency system. The team's conclusion was passed down to the Imperial Household Agency, and the prime minister's office assumed that the issue had been settled.
[...]
A couple of days before the Emperor made a nationally televised address announcing his apparent desire to abdicate on Aug. 8, officials associated with the prime minister's office were surprised to see a draft of the address provided by the Imperial Household Agency, as the draft contained negative expressions about establishing a regency.
[...]
The draft of the speech was exchanged between the prime minister's office and the Imperial Household Agency several times for revisions, but the Emperor's expression toward the regency system remained intact.
[...]
"The initial draft contained even stronger and more straightforward expressions,"revealed a source close to the prime minister.
Gov't team concluded Emperor's abdication 'difficult': sources - The Mainichi
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  #197  
Old 09-07-2016, 04:02 PM
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Good grief! They are really dragging their feet!

Do they prefer a "hostile" Emperor whom they can't sack?

Perhaps it would be a good idea to look into the Imperial Household to ascertain whether they are superfluous...
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  #198  
Old 09-07-2016, 04:06 PM
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It really is unbelievable.
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  #199  
Old 09-13-2016, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
An overwhelming majority of Japanese support changing the law to allow not just Emperor Akihito, but any future emperor, to abdicate, according to an Asahi Shimbun survey.

The share of respondents who said that Akihito should be allowed to retire from the Chrysanthemum Throne was 91 percent, while just 4 percent opposed the possibility.

Of those in favor of the emperor’s abdication, 76 percent said an arrangement should be instituted to allow any emperor to step down. Seventeen percent said only Akihito should be allowed to do so.
[...]
The Asahi Shimbun conducted an opinion poll of eligible voters nationwide about the emperor’s abdication and other issues on Sept. 10-11.

Under the survey, pollsters contacted respondents at land line and mobile phone numbers generated through random computer sampling. The poll received 983 valid responses from 1,839 land line numbers reached with at least one eligible voter.

There were 1,045 valid responses from 2,114 mobile phone numbers that were reached and found to belong to an eligible voter.

According to the survey, 72 percent endorsed a revision of the Imperial House Law so that a woman can ascend to the throne, whereas 21 percent opposed such a change.
Asahi poll: 91% say Akihito should be free to step down: The Asahi Shimbun
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  #200  
Old 09-13-2016, 07:01 PM
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That should put pressure on the government and court officials.
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