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  #201  
Old 09-15-2016, 02:32 PM
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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will announce plans for a panel to discuss Emperor Akihito’s abdication when he delivers a policy speech for the extraordinary Diet session to be convened on Sept. 26, a government source said Thursday.

The government has decided to seek expert opinion before beginning legal procedures in response to the 82-year-old Emperor’s video message to the public on Aug. 8 in which he indicated his desire to abdicate.

Members of the panel will likely include academics specializing in the Constitution, administrative law, history and Japanese traditional culture, the source said.

Although the panel was initially planned to be set up this month, its launch could be delayed to October or later, they added.
Abe to announce plans for panel to discuss Emperor's abdication | The Japan Times
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  #202  
Old 09-15-2016, 06:06 PM
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Hmm, another attempt to buy time?
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  #203  
Old 09-17-2016, 02:25 AM
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Another day, another poll...
Quote:
JIJI
SEP 16, 2016
An opinion poll showed Friday that 58.3 percent of respondents support the idea of allowing all Japanese Emperors in the future to step down during their lifetimes.

Meanwhile, 33 percent said that abdication should be permitted only for Emperor Akihito, who suggested in a video message televised in August that he hopes to abdicate due to his advanced age, according to the opinion poll conducted for four days through Monday.

Only 3.5 percent said that no Emperor should leave the Chrysanthemum Throne while being alive.

The government is currently considering allowing only Emperor Akihito to abdicate, possibly by establishing a special law.

Of the respondents, 71.9 percent said that a wide range of issues related to the Imperial family, including whether to allow a woman or a person on the maternal Imperial bloodline to become a ruling Empress or Emperor, should also be discussed by a panel of experts on the abdication issue, to be set up by the government as early as next month.

But 21.7 percent said the panel should handle the abdication issue only.
60 percent back permanent system for Imperial abdication in Japan: poll | The Japan Times
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  #204  
Old 09-17-2016, 04:15 AM
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That's an interesting poll!

Especially the last part.

As I see it, a majority of the Japanese are very interested in other issues regarding the Emperor - and the Imperial Family...
I don't think the government and the people are thinking about the same issues here!

While the government may be focused on the political role of the Emperor in particular (and preferably keeping that very limited and as conservative as possible IMO), I think the public are much, much more interested in discussing the succession and whether girls should have equal rights to the throne as men.

The abdication is a given thing IMO. The public is fully behind it.
And the government can't stall much longer.

It's a lose-lose for the government IMO.
Either they cave in to the Emperor now and abandon their conservative stance on emperors not being able to abdicate.
Or they end up having a discussion on their hands, that goes against the conservative stand of the government in several issues more, that they did not want to bring up! Gender equality, succession right, role of the Imperial family (why shouldn't they be able to speak out more?) and perhaps not least the purpose of the Imperial Court...
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  #205  
Old 09-19-2016, 08:50 AM
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But it is interesting that the polls never have questions on restoring patrilineal collateral branches, which Abe and the nationalists favor.

From the Asahi Shimbun survey that Prisma posted:
Quote:
The survey also showed that a combined 87 percent replied that they view the emperor’s “official duties” such as attending events and visiting people in disaster-hit areas as important in fulfilling his role as a symbol of Japan.
Abe Cabinet's support hits 62% in new survey - The Japan News
Quote:
Under the current system, a regent can be appointed as a substitute for the emperor in performing official duties if there are reasons such as a serious illness.
The survey showed 79 percent said they believe a regent could be installed because of the emperor’s advanced age, while 17 percent said they did not.
Gov't to prioritize Emperor's abdication, shelve other Imperial succession issues - The Mainichi
Quote:
Prime Minister Abe, however, is known to be opposed to non-patrilineal succession. According to his aides, Abe was preparing to review the Imperial Household Act after the July House of Councillors election, to examine issues such as the status of female Imperial Family members who leave for marriage, as well as a proposal to restore Imperial Family status to male descendants of male Imperial branch family members who left the Imperial Household after World War II.
In the wake of the Emperor's Aug. 8 announcement, however, all that was set aside to address the abdication question.
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  #206  
Old 09-20-2016, 03:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post

But it is interesting that the polls never have questions on restoring patrilineal collateral branches, which Abe and the nationalists favor.
Perhaps Abe and the nationalists suspect restoring the collateral branches might be an even harder sell to the Japanese public. Those families have left the Imperial system for nearly 70 years and may enjoy their privacy and freedom from the IHA. I gather from other threads that the ex-members and aristocracy acknowledge their former royal/noble titles in private.

Would the public accept a faraway male descendant from a monarch or a more immediate female descendant from a recent monarch? Would any collateral family or potential male descendant wish to return the fish bowl/symbolic lifestyle? I only searched briefly. Some collateral branches still exist; the others are already extinct or will be extinct (no male heir). Another proposal was to let the Imperial family adopt from a collateral branch and that candidate would be taught to become an Imperial member. What would that involve? Forcing the whole family to enter the Imperial system? I presume an infant/younger child would be better than teaching an older child/adult who'll know what he's lost. I can't imagine the IHA/government separating a child from his parents.

An old article from Feb 2006:
Quote:
Tsuneyasu Takeda, a member of one of 11 former princely houses that were abolished after Japan's defeat in the Second World War, has grabbed media attention by speaking out against the proposed revisions.

The author of a book titled The Untold Truth of Imperial Family Members that was published last month, Takeda says the succession should remain limited to males descended from an emperor through the paternal line.
[...]
Takeda, a great-great-grandson of Emperor Meiji, who reigned from 1867 to 1912, says one way to avoid future succession crises might be to restore the former princely houses or allow the emperor and imperial family to adopt males from those families.

But although Takeda has written that such men should feel a responsibility to maintain the royal house, he said he would feel overwhelmed if asked to step in to fill the gap.

"Sometimes people say it would be good if I were to... return to imperial status, but that is something that I would be overawed by," said Takeda, who was raised as a commoner. "It's something I can't even imagine."
Gulf Daily News » World News » Male-only imperial line backed

I'm honestly pleased with the polls supporting abdication, even if limited to Emperor Akihito. At least the panel indicates progress, however slowly. I wonder how long the discussions will take. A lengthy discussion will reflect poorly on Abe as not being serious about considering the Emperor's wishes/forcing the poor monarch to accept a regency.
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  #207  
Old 09-20-2016, 08:40 AM
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Now, now, Tatiana-Marie - we don't want people answering questions we don't want to hear the answer to.

Interesting, isn't it?

And I think you nailed it. The Imperial family, and especially the Emperor himself have ensured that the emperor is not an aloof, distant figure. So I think you are right, people will prefer someone they know to take over.
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  #208  
Old 09-23-2016, 01:24 AM
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Quote:
The government is preparing to appoint an expert panel around mid-October to discuss the potential abdication of Emperor Akihito following indications from him that he wishes to vacate the throne, a government source said Friday.

The panel would consist of six members, including Takashi Imai, honorary chairman of Keidanren, and Takashi Mikuriya, professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, the source said.
Japan plans to form panel in mid-October to weigh Emperor's abdication hopes | The Japan Times

Asahi's report lists the other 4 members as:
  • Ms. Junko Obata - Sophia Law School Professor ( administrative law )
  • Mr. Atsushi Seike - Keio University (labor economics)
  • Ms. Midori Miyazaki - Chibashokadai Professor (International Politics)
  • Mr. Masayuki Yamauchi - Tokyo University professor emeritus (international relations History)
ETA:
Quote:
The government said Friday that a six-member advisory panel was established to draft a report on how to reduce the public duties of Emperor Akihito, but the politically sensitive issue of whether he should be allowed to abdicate due to advanced age is now expected to become part of its agenda.

[...]

The panel, which is devoid of experts on the Imperial family, will hold its first meeting in mid-October, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe most likely in attendance, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.

No deadline will be set for the panel’s report because the government wants the members to discuss the issue "in a quiet environment with no prejudgments," Suga said.

The chief Cabinet secretary emphasized that the issues to be discussed are "related to the foundation of the state and extremely important."

The panel does not include specialists on the history of the Imperial family or on matters related to the Imperial House Law because its main function will apparently be to study experts’ views and form a consensus.

The government chose the members based on their ability to "organize various views and discuss and explain them to the public," Suga said.

The panel will thus hold hearings to let experts on Imperial issues express their views for reflection in the final report, Suga said.

The approach taken by the government in tackling this sensitive issue appears to put priority on forming a consensus rather than drawing attention to noted experts who could split the group.

Conservative politicians and scholars maintain that an emperor should not be allowed to quit under his own volition because it could destabilize the Imperial system over the long run. This argument has made the abdication question a very sensitive issue in Abe’s Cabinet because many of its key supporters are nationalistic conservatives.

"It is true opinions are divided among experts," Suga admitted at the news conference.

The six members are Takashi Imai, chairman emeritus of the Japan Business Federation, the influential business lobby better known as Keidanren; Junko Obata, a Sophia Law School professor and expert on administrative law; Atsushi Seike, president of Keio University and a scholar on labor economy studies; Takashi Mikuriya, professor emeritus of politics at the University of Tokyo; Midori Miyazaki, former TV broadcaster and professor at Chiba University of Commerce; and Masayuki Yamauchi, professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo and a noted expert on Islamic studies.
Panel formed to ease burden on Emperor Akihito but abdication issue looms | The Japan Times
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  #209  
Old 09-27-2016, 09:25 AM
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Diverse abdication panel omits Imperial experts- Nikkei Asian Review

Quote:
Takashi Imai, an honorary chair of the Japan Business Federation and likely head of the six-member panel, dines with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe several times a year and is believed to be on the same page with the administration on many issues.
[...]
In an August interview with The Nikkei, Mikuriya recommended extraordinary legislation allowing just Emperor Akihito to step down. The government "needs to avoid time-consuming ways" of handling the issue, he said. The other five panel members are unlikely to lodge any particularly strenuous objections to abdication, according to a government source.
[...]
Though some in the [Imperial Household] agency consider one-time legislation insufficient to ensure stable succession, others assert that the body will provide its full cooperation and avoid butting in unnecessarily.

Regardless of their views on the best course of action, agency officials want to see speedy progress. "I'd like the cabinet to prioritize this," Grand Steward Noriyuki Kazaoka, the head of the agency, told reporters Wednesday.
Japan forms expert panel on abdication- Nikkei Asian Review
Quote:
The emperor's comment last month that "in two years we will be welcoming the 30th year of Heisei," the era name denoting his reign, has led some to contend that the government must work to realize his abdication in 2018.
Prisma, that is a wonderful post about the problems with restoring collateral branches. Muhler, perhaps the pollsters had the exact same thoughts on the government.
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  #210  
Old 09-27-2016, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
Japan plans to form panel in mid-October to weigh Emperor's abdication hopes | The Japan Times

Asahi's report lists the other 4 members as:
  • Ms. Junko Obata - Sophia Law School Professor ( administrative law )
  • Mr. Atsushi Seike - Keio University (labor economics)
  • Ms. Midori Miyazaki - Chibashokadai Professor (International Politics)
  • Mr. Masayuki Yamauchi - Tokyo University professor emeritus (international relations History)
ETA:

Panel formed to ease burden on Emperor Akihito but abdication issue looms | The Japan Times
It is indeed a weird composition for the advisory panel. Not only are there no experts on Imperial House history and law, but also there are few experts on constitutional law in general. Instead, the panel includes names from the fields of business/industry and economics, who really have little to contribute to this particular debate in my humble opinion.
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  #211  
Old 09-27-2016, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
Another proposal was to let the Imperial family adopt from a collateral branch and that candidate would be taught to become an Imperial member. What would that involve? Forcing the whole family to enter the Imperial system? I presume an infant/younger child would be better than teaching an older child/adult who'll know what he's lost. I can't imagine the IHA/government separating a child from his parents.
Japan royals has long history of adoptions, including adult's adoption, from a collateral branches.
Marriage between a princess and a male from a collateral branch with subsequent his adoption by Prince Hitachi or Prince Mikasa would be best solution.
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  #212  
Old 09-27-2016, 12:12 PM
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Adoption? Why? What is wrong with young Prince Hisahito?
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  #213  
Old 09-27-2016, 12:37 PM
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They need some backups for security. Having only one very young child to inherit is not at all safe. And Girls inheriting is not even the discussion so his sisters and cousin are useless to them.
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  #214  
Old 09-27-2016, 01:12 PM
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Presuming it isn't an infant, wouldn't such an adoption be a formality? Akin to the Roman adoptions.

That is in the sense that the child will still be brought up with his parents and siblings, but in contrast to them groomed and educated for a life at the court, and if need be, an emperor.
The adoption merely meaning that, just in case, the child is on paper the son of the Imperial Couple or the Crown Princely Couple.

It makes sense in a way, but it would be much more simple to lay out a line of succession that includes girls IMO.
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  #215  
Old 09-27-2016, 01:25 PM
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The IHA would never allow that. They control every aspect of Royal life and won't tolerate outside influence on a future monarch.
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  #216  
Old 09-29-2016, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
The replacement of the head of the Imperial Household Agency on Monday is believed to have reflected the displeasure of the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over Emperor Akihito’s address last month regarding his desire to eventually abdicate, according to comments from a government source.

Noriyuki Kazaoka, 70, stepped down as head of the agency, a position called grand steward, and Shinichiro Yamamoto, 66, was promoted from vice grand steward.

As personnel changes at the agency are usually conducted in the spring, Kazaoka had been expected to remain in office until the end of March.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Kazaoka said that in arranging the Aug. 8 address by the Emperor, he had consulted with the Cabinet Secretariat on the extent to which the Emperor could express his thoughts while maintaining his constitutional position as a symbol of the nation.
[...]
The Abe administration was displeased with the Emperor’s expression of his desire to abdicate, according to the source, as the administration believes that the Emperor has no freedom to voluntarily step down under the Constitution.
[...]
The agency "should have persuaded" the Emperor to refrain from the speech, the government source said. "Someone had to take responsibility (for failing to prevent it)."

Yamamoto said Tuesday that he is determined to support the Emperor and the Empress. But he quickly added, "I will closely cooperate with the Cabinet Secretariat" on the abdication issue.

As vice grand steward, the administration named Yasuhiko Nishimura, deputy chief Cabinet secretary for crisis management.

The appointment of Nishimura was unusual, since the post of vice grand steward has in the past usually been filled by former vice ministers.

Nishimura, former superintendent general of the Metropolitan Police Department, was sent to the Imperial Household Agency by [Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary] Kazuhiro Sugita, who also has a police background, so the Abe administration can have greater influence with the agency, sources familiar with the matter said.

Nishimura will represent the agency at the secretariat for a panel of experts set to launch discussions next month on measures to reduce the Emperor’s official duties.
Imperial agency chief replaced amid row over Emperor address on abdication hopes | The Japan Times

It has become convention for Grand Stewards to retire at age 70 anyway (which Noriyuki Kazaoka reached on September 15th), see Asahi (Google translation)

The new Vice Grand Steward Yasuhiko Nishimura is age 61.
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  #217  
Old 09-29-2016, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
After being informed of the Emperor’s wish to abdicate, administration staff, including Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kazuhiro Sugita, began considering ways to reduce the Emperor’s official duties in an effort to have him give up on the idea.
The agency “should have persuaded” the Emperor to refrain from the speech, the government source said. “Someone had to take responsibility (for failing to prevent it).”
That is a very plain-spoken admission of the government's motivations for firing an IHA chief who was to retire in six months.

Mr. Kazaoka was a vocal supporter of Akihito indeed.
Quote:
On the reason why the Emperor himself expressed his view rather than the Grand Steward or other officials speaking on behalf of the Emperor, Grand Steward Kazaoka explained, "Because it is only the Emperor who has been acting as the symbol of the State, it is easiest for the public to understand if he expresses his thoughts himself that he has developed through his own activities as the symbol of the State." […] He added, "I believe that the Emperor spoke out of consideration for his role under the Constitution. I think we have come to a period that will be a major milestone (in Imperial Family history)."

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/...0m/0na/012000c

"I felt His Majesty's serious strain when I learned that he's been worried that it could be difficult for him to fulfill his duties due to a decline in his fitness level because of his advancing age. The Imperial Household Agency hopes that His Majesty's thoughts will be understood by the people," [Kazaoka] said.

It is an unwritten rule that the Imperial Household Agency cannot speak on behalf of the Emperor. Nevertheless, Kazaoka dared to emphasize the serious strain of the Emperor.

Commenting on Kazaoka's news conference, a retired official of the agency said, "[...] It (the grand steward's news conference) was the most effective appeal to the public on a day when it was easy to draw public attention."

Emperor began to consider abdicating after blood found in stomach 8 years ago - The Mainichi

Since the emperor has no desire for a lighter workload, the agency is not considering that option, Kazaoka said.

The grand steward also discussed the public reaction to the address. "Many members of the public likely listened to His Majesty's honest feelings on his position as a symbol and the significance of his duties with great interest," he said.

No constitutional issue with Emperor's address: Imperial agency chief- Nikkei Asian Review

"I'd like the cabinet to prioritize this," Grand Steward Noriyuki Kazaoka,the head of the agency, told reporters Wednesday.

Diverse abdication panel omits Imperial experts- Nikkei Asian Review
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  #218  
Old 09-29-2016, 02:33 AM
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I am very happy that the Emperor has supporters within the IHA.
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  #219  
Old 09-29-2016, 04:05 AM
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It is often thought that the Imperial Household Agency (IHA) is an enemy of the imperial family. Nothing is less true. It is in the core interest of the IHA itself that there is an imperial family indeed, that the household is running in stealth mode and that the monarchy is out of any debate. After all: without a cooperative emperor there is no IHA...
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  #220  
Old 09-29-2016, 05:35 AM
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Despite needing each other and having the same goals (i.e. - maintain the monarchy), the IHA and Imperial family do not always agree. Not complete enemy or ally.
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