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  #81  
Old 07-17-2016, 01:24 AM
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Thanks a lot for detailed explanations!

Information leakage about Emperor Akihito's possible about abdication is very confusing. Knowing how the IHA operates, it would be fair to say that we will be left discussing possibilities and making assumptions.
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  #82  
Old 07-17-2016, 03:15 AM
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Thank you once more for a most enlightening post, Chubb Fuddler.

It looks to me that the changes merely formalize what has been practiced for years, and that makes good sense.
We must be careful not to see the nationalists as all bad. In this case I think it makes perfect sense to formalize the institutions that all other countries have. I.e. a clearly defined head of state, a national flag and so on.

It's the other more political changes that are more interesting!
And in that context it's clear that the role (read political influence) of the Emperor remains unchanged. I.e. extremely limited.
That at least is how I interpret this.
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  #83  
Old 07-17-2016, 11:51 AM
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I used the description "ultranationalist" because it seems to be the most common English word for Shinzo Abe's political philosophy. I hope it did not mislead readers.

Thank you for your educated opinion, Chubb Fuddler. (Particularly regarding the difference between "respect" and "uphold.") To add to your post, I would like to share a popular critique of the 2012 proposals (to which you provided a link) to illustrate a few of the opponents' concerns.

Japan's Democracy at Risk - The LDP's Ten Most Dangerous Proposals for Constitutional Change | The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus

ChiaraC's posts in the thread below are pertinent to the discussion of Emperor Akihito's and Shinzo Abe's respective political beliefs.

The Japanese monarchy and nationalist politics, past and present
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  #84  
Old 07-17-2016, 01:31 PM
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Thanks, Tatiana Marie.

Looking at the ten points.
Apart from points nine and ten, all of these are universally being implemented or considered being implemented in practically all democracies as we speak.
I.e. a general revision of human rights and international conventions. That security increasingly takes precedence over the individual. That the freedom of the press is being curbed.

The interesting thing IMO (and perhaps worrying as well) is that Japan, which is not facing a direct threat at present feel the need to make these changes.
Otherwise Japan is only following the flood internationally speaking.

That it should be easier to deploy the Japanese military is old news, in the sense that USA and others have long wished for Japan to take a more active role in international interventions. That has long been fought tooth and nail by the Japanese themselves.

The most interesting, or worrying if you will, thing is the proposal to make it easier to change the constitution.
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  #85  
Old 07-18-2016, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Regarding Emperor Akihiko's intention to abdicate, 45 percent of pollees said the government should swiftly revise the Imperial Household system to allow the emperor to retire, 30 percent called for caution, and 11 percent said they have no opinion. Respondents calling for reform of the system outnumbered those urging caution in every age group from the 30s and up.
51% support Diet discussion on constitutional revision: Mainichi poll - The Mainichi

Quote:
Q: What about times before the Meiji period?

A: It is believed that Empress Kogyoku, Japan's 35th monarch, was the first to step down when she passed the throne to her younger brother following the political transformation under the Taika Reform in 645. During the Heian period between the late eighth and early 12th centuries, abdication was a common practice among emperors. Those who abdicated in favor of a successor became "Daijo Tenno," and the title of "Ho'o" was given to former emperors who became monks. Former emperors were generally referred to as "In," which was an honorific title.

The political system in which an emperor gives up the throne for a successor while retaining power is called the cloistered rule, or "Insei" in Japanese. Emperor Kokaku, great-grandfather of Emperor Meiji, was the last one to step down in 1817 and ruled under the Insei system.

Q: Why was the Insei system abolished?

A: It is believed that the system was scrapped in the pursuit of political stability. When a retired emperor meddled too much with politics it created a two-tiered power structure. There are examples of conflicts between former emperors and emperors in power at the time such as the Kusuko Incident of 810 and the Hogen Rebellion of 1156.

Some politicians sought ways behind closed doors for Emperor Hirohito (posthumously known as Emperor Showa) to abdicate following the end of World War II, but he held his title until his demise in 1989.
News Navigator: What is the history behind abdication of emperors? - The Mainichi
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  #86  
Old 07-18-2016, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
A rather well-written article by the economist:

The long goodbye | The Economist
... [snipped]
Thanks for sharing the article!

If Emperor Akihito genuinely wants to abdicate because of the Constitution revision, I hope that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will accommodate his wish. My opinion is unpopular, but Japan has a right to defend itself from any possible threats. This means introduction of some changes into the Constitution.

At the same time, Emperor Akihito should be thanked for starting this difficult conversation and allowing politicians and public to debate the issue.
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  #87  
Old 07-19-2016, 05:26 PM
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What do You think: Naruhito and Masako are ready to be emperor and empress ?
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  #88  
Old 07-19-2016, 07:05 PM
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Given Crown Prince Naruhito's age and work experience (if I may call it so), I am sure the transition will be smooth, and he will make a nice Emperor. As for Crown Princess Masako, she may take some time adjusting her new role.
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  #89  
Old 07-20-2016, 02:19 AM
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The Emperor and Abdication in Japan - The News Lens International Edition
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  #90  
Old 07-29-2016, 02:10 AM
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"Emperor Akihito, who is said to have indicated his wish to abdicate, will have a chance to speak about his thoughts to the Japanese people sometime next month, NHK reported Friday.

Sources said the Imperial Household Agency is planning to broadcast a live message by the Emperor around Aug. 8, after the scheduled extraordinary Diet session and a Cabinet reshuffle take place, according to the report.

The Emperor is expected to speak for about 10 minutes at the Shakkyo no Ma drawing room in the Imperial Palace, possibly with the attendance of reporters, the report said."

Source: Emperor will speak to the public on live TV in August | The Japan Times

ETA: Sankei reports August 8th as tentative or sometime before/after the 15th (end of WWII anniversary). The IHA is considering August 8th because that's after the cabinet reshuffle on August 3rd and between the anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9th).
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  #91  
Old 07-29-2016, 02:17 AM
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i think that's make the news real and not just rumours or false news if it was i think that the emperor would had just only released a response from the palace instead of giving more attention and credibility to the rumour .
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  #92  
Old 07-29-2016, 10:28 AM
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Thank you, Prisma.

Quote:
The Emperor issued a recorded message to the Japanese people after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, but the coming appearance will be the first time for him to make an address to the nation on live TV.
Have any of his press conferences been broadcast?

Emperor may speak on the future - News - NHK WORLD - English

Quote:
So the Emperor is expected to avoid using the word "abdication" or other expressions that directly express his intention.

But the sources say the Emperor's words will suggest his wishes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by duke of poliganc View Post
i think that's make the news real and not just rumours or false news if it was i think that the emperor would had just only released a response from the palace instead of giving more attention and credibility to the rumour.
According to numerous reports in Japan, directly stating his intent to abdicate would be regarded as a political statement (as legislation would be necessary), and that is why the government and IHA officially denied it after leaking it to the media.
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  #93  
Old 07-29-2016, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al_bina View Post
Given Crown Prince Naruhito's age and work experience (if I may call it so), I am sure the transition will be smooth, and he will make a nice Emperor. As for Crown Princess Masako, she may take some time adjusting her new role.
Most people think of Naruhito as a devoted husband, but I always thought he ignored his wife's obvious unhappiness in favor of his own desires.

I've long believed he should step aside and take his family into private life, where his wife might make a full recovery and who knows? Even resume what was once a promising career.

But he won't do that; he intends to be emperor no matter what it costs his family (even though there are other heirs and he is not truly needed).

I find it hard to think well of him, to be honest.
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  #94  
Old 07-29-2016, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirabel View Post
Most people think of Naruhito as a devoted husband, but I always thought he ignored his wife's obvious unhappiness in favor of his own desires.

I've long believed he should step aside and take his family into private life, where his wife might make a full recovery and who knows? Even resume what was once a promising career.

But he won't do that; he intends to be emperor no matter what it costs his family (even though there are other heirs and he is not truly needed).

I find it hard to think well of him, to be honest.
That's a pretty strong opinion to voice.

It might be argued that it It is his duty to be Emperor, not a selfish whim. Abdication of that duty, IMO, would be selfish. No doubt Masako will support him to the extent that she can. We are not really privy to too much detail about her medical condition and if and how she might get better.
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  #95  
Old 07-29-2016, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirabel View Post
Most people think of Naruhito as a devoted husband, but I always thought he ignored his wife's obvious unhappiness in favor of his own desires.

I've long believed he should step aside and take his family into private life, where his wife might make a full recovery and who knows? Even resume what was once a promising career.

But he won't do that; he intends to be emperor no matter what it costs his family (even though there are other heirs and he is not truly needed).

I find it hard to think well of him, to be honest.
I think Princess Masako would have been the very last person wishing to see her spouse quit his destiny. From his first breath Prince Naruhito has been destined to become Emperor of Japan. The Prince was completely brought up, educated, trained and drilled with this sole purpose of life, his whole raison d'être. Like any other Heir in other monarchies he did not have what his compatriots have: a free choice of career.

It would only make life harder for Masako and possibly she will also feel the immense burden of an imperial prince who abdicated because of her. That may sound nice and romantic in some Disney-ed Western eyes. In Japanese tradition this most likely would have been seen as the ultimate dereliction of an imperial (for some even: divine) duty and a source of deepest humiliation and shame.
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  #96  
Old 07-29-2016, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirabel View Post
Most people think of Naruhito as a devoted husband, but I always thought he ignored his wife's obvious unhappiness in favor of his own desires.

I've long believed he should step aside and take his family into private life, where his wife might make a full recovery and who knows? Even resume what was once a promising career.

But he won't do that; he intends to be emperor no matter what it costs his family (even though there are other heirs and he is not truly needed).

I find it hard to think well of him, to be honest.
He is from another culture and a very different value system. It's easy to judge him based on US standards, but not very valid to do that IMO. When I try to use logic and my own perspective on his situation I react as you have.

But applying what I've learned about the culture and political situation in Japan, I see a lot of honor in his and his family's actions. I would not make the choices he has - but then I will never be asked to do so. Thank heavens.
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  #97  
Old 07-29-2016, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by muriel View Post
No doubt Masako will support him to the extent that she can. We are not really privy to too much detail about her medical condition and if and how she might get better.

We know enough to realize Masako has been miserable for nearly two decades.

I do realize it is a different culture, and perhaps it is not for me to question Naruhito's motivations.
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  #98  
Old 07-30-2016, 01:16 AM
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Masako has been accompanying her husband on his engagements quite a bit lately. I don't think she has much of a 'condition' remaining at all. She seems to have adjusted to her life and is doing what is expected of a Crown Princess. As Empress it would be the same, just more of it. I don't see any problem for her or her husband or their daughter (who has also accompanied her parents on occasion). It is their destiny - they've always known that.
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  #99  
Old 07-30-2016, 03:59 AM
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Queen Beatrix assumed the kingship in 1980. In 1981/1982 it became clear her spouse, Prince Claus, suffered severe depressions. There were admissions in German and Swiss psychiatric clinics for treatments. The Prince would never completely recover in public duties. He would die in 2004 and all by all Queen Beatrix has done her whole kingship more without than with her husband at her side. Should she have abdicated too? Like Naruhito should renounce for Masako?

Until the end it was clear that the love between Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus was profound. In her Abdication Address Queen Beatrix qualified her choice for Prince Claus "as the best choice of her life" and made sure that only because of his sole being he was "her rock". Without him (despite long periods out of the public eye, despite clearly growing incapacities due to Parkinson Disease), without his wise counsel, his encouragement, his observations and his dry humour, Queen Beatrix could not have fullfilled her kingship, she made clear.

Crown Prince Naruhito and Princess Masako are privately befriended with the Orange-Nassaus. Beatrix and Willem-Alexander have first-hand experiences of living with a royal consort or royal parent with severe psychic sufferings. Once the Japanese Heir and his family spent two weeks holiday on the private retreat of the Oranges in the lush Crown Domains. Little Aiko played with little Catharina-Amalia. In 2013 Princess Masako made her first official foreign trip in more than a decade to attend the Investiture of King Willem-Alexander. In Dutch and Japanese media it was rumoured there were personal contacts beforehand between Princess Máxima and Princess Masako. The Dutch and Japanese Courts accomodated everything to the maximum for the frail Princess. And with success. In Amsterdam she became re-introduced to now King Felipe of Spain, to the Prince of Wales, to now King Philippe of the Belgians, to the Crown Prince of Thailand, to Sheikhq Mozah, to the Prince of Monaco, etc.

I think this succesful visit was a boost in the recovery of Princess Masako. When King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima made a State Visit to Japan, who was in person there at the ceremonial welcome? Princess Masako. The greeting with the Dutch guests was so heartfelt and genuine, as greeting friends. So all by all. With modifications because of the frailty of the Empress, there is nothing why Emperor Naruhito could not make a success of his Reign.
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  #100  
Old 07-31-2016, 11:49 AM
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Abdication issue a test for Abe govt / Avoiding violation of Constitution vital - The Japan News

Quote:
Initially, a high-ranking government official said, “If we aim to revise the law in response to the Emperor’s intention, it could be considered a violation of the Constitution.”

This was the predominant opinion inside the government, with an official saying the issue should not be dealt with immediately.

It was also widely believed that it would be difficult to realize an intention by the Emperor to express his thoughts without violating the Constitution.

However, the Emperor’s intention was widely reported and surveys conducted by the media showed that many people support abdication. In response, the government has come under increasing pressure to realize the abdication without violating the Constitution.
Emperor to express thoughts to public - The Japan News
Quote:
Since July 13, there have been a series of news reports over the Emperor’s possible intention to abdicate, and some of the coverage reportedly is against the Emperor’s intention.

[...] “I assume the Emperor’s speech will clearly convey his thoughts by touching on a series of reports [on his possible abdication],” an agency source said.
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