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  #161  
Old 08-12-2016, 03:51 AM
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6 Things You Might Not Know About Emperor Akihito and Japan’s Monarchy - History Lists
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  #162  
Old 08-12-2016, 04:07 AM
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Thank you, Tatiana Maria! I sincerely hope Emperor Akihito and future emperors are allowed to abdicate.

A special law only for Akihito seems odd. If subsequent emperors wish to abdicate, would the government have to pass a law each time? That's cumbersome. Presumably the process would be faster as there's precedent yet it brings up the uncomfortable scenario that each emperor has to "prove" his case for abdication.

I doubt the IHA/government would force an Emperor to work if he becomes incapable. Emperor Taisho's health was very poor and needed a regency. When Emperor Showa was ill for a year and half before his death, there was no regency. Then-CP Akihito stood in for his father at various events.

Emperor Akihito (and Empress Michiko) has been so active, he probably prefers his reign to reflect that public service. Not the "Heisei era" was X years... with a mostly/completely absent Emperor the last Y years.
Akihito mentions the 30th year of Heisei in his speech so I wonder if he's also hinting he'd like to abdicate (if allowed) in 2018. Maybe I'm over-analyzing...
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  #163  
Old 08-12-2016, 01:23 PM
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Abdication talk could revive other succession debates- Nikkei Asian Review
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Voluntary abdication does not fit well with the charter's provision that has the emperor "deriving his position from the will of the people," some experts argue.
Abdication would pose legal challenges for imperial system - The Mainichi
Quote:
Citing the emperor's role as being tied to the "will of the people," a government source said the passage of any legislation for abdication would require the almost unanimous approval of Diet lawmakers as representatives of the nation.
Abdication discussion opens legal can of worms- Nikkei Asian Review
Quote:
The main issue likely would be to determine which situations would permit abdication. Ensuring that the emperor can express his wishes without running afoul of the constitution would be essential, along with avoiding the possibility of forced abdications. The Nara and Heian periods, encompassing the eighth to 12th centuries, are full of examples of power struggles between former and current emperors.

Another question involves deciding who would set the time frame for an abdication. Some have suggested the Imperial House Council established by the Imperial House Law. But its members include the prime minister and other politicians, leaving open the possibility that abdication could be used for political purposes. But letting the emperor step down whenever he pleases could compromise the stability of the monarchy.
Many hurdles to legal changes to allow abdication of emperor:The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:
In particular, there are some in the government who point out that the abdication issue could have a major impact on constitutional revision, which has been a long-held goal of Abe.

"In the course of discussing the abdication issue, debate will inevitably have to focus on the first chapter of the Constitution, which defines the emperor as the symbol of the state," one government source said. "That means this will eventually become an issue about the Constitution."
Legal revisions to allow Emperor's abdication could take long time - The Mainichi
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It is feared that if the current Emperor continued to perform duties as a member of the Imperial Family after abdicating, then his existence and role could overlap with that of Crown Prince Naruhito, who would ascend to the throne. The status and role of the Emperor upon abdication would therefore have to be settled. A residence for him after his abdication and a department to look after him would also have to be established.
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Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
Emperor Akihito (and Empress Michiko) has been so active, he probably prefers his reign to reflect that public service. Not the "Heisei era" was X years... with a mostly/completely absent Emperor the last Y years.

Akihito mentions the 30th year of Heisei in his speech so I wonder if he's also hinting he'd like to abdicate (if allowed) in 2018. Maybe I'm over-analyzing...
I also think that he would if he could.
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  #164  
Old 08-12-2016, 01:57 PM
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It is all stratego. In the end the Emperor will be able to abdicate. I have no any doubt about that outcome.
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  #165  
Old 08-12-2016, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
It is all stratego. In the end the Emperor will be able to abdicate. I have no any doubt about that outcome.
I am not sure he will. In any case, I believe it would be inhumane to deny the Emperor the possibility of stepping down for health reasons.
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  #166  
Old 08-12-2016, 03:50 PM
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If Akihito abdicate, he will be known as Emperor Heisei ? This era will end and era X will begin.
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  #167  
Old 08-12-2016, 05:26 PM
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Yes, a new era starts with a new emperor.



CP Hirohito was proclaimed Emperor 1926 and the Showa era proclaimed

A few days later his father The Emperor, was named Emperor Taisho

The Emperor died in 1989, ending the Showa era. He was known as tako tenno (deceased emperor) before proclaimed Emperor Showa.

The day after he died, CP Hirohito became The Emperor, starting the Heisei era

so if they do the same with abdication:

The emperor abdicates ending the heisei era. And is Emperor Heisei.

Narahito becomes 'The emperor' and a new era's name is chosn.


In Japan emperors don't use their first name. They are simply 'The Emperor' or Tenno. Emperor X, in Japan, refers to a deceased emperor. So we would have

HM The Emperor
(HM??) Emperor Heisei (not sure if he is stil HM or HRH if this happens)
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  #168  
Old 08-12-2016, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Koningin View Post
If Akihito abdicate, he will be known as Emperor Heisei ? This era will end and era X will begin.
If the government and the Diet allow the Emperor to abdicate, they will decide on his title. Historically, abdicated emperors took the title of 太上天皇 (daijō tennō) or 上皇 (jōkō), which is translated as Grand Emperor in the media.

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Originally Posted by Chubb Fuddler View Post
But the characters 太上 actually imply something more like higher or senior. Ti 太 is found in the titles of the Empress Dowager Kōtaigō and Grand Empress Dowager Tai-Kōtaigō and comes from the Chinese radical 大 d - big, great (D Qīng The Great Qing was the name of the last dynasty to rule China).

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Originally Posted by Countessmeout View Post
There has never been an abdication so we can only look at dead emperors.
Roughly half of the emperors have abdicated.

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However, soon after a coup d'etat in 645 that led to the political reform known as Taika no Kaishin, Emperor Kogyoku abdicated. Since then and continuing until the latter half of the Edo Period (1603-1867), close to half of all emperors have abdicated.

In ancient Japan, the empress dowager often assumed the throne temporarily before stepping aside so a male heir could take her place. However, when Empress Jito, who succeeded her husband, Emperor Tenmu, later abdicated and turned over the reign to her grandson, Emperor Monmu, she kept her title as Daijo Tenno, or Joko (retired empress), and exerted political influence until her death in 702.

The system, known as "Insei," became established by the late Heian Period (794-1185). Emperor Shirakawa abdicated in 1086 and became Joko. But Shirakawa wielded effective political power because Emperor Horikawa was still a child.

Under the cloistered rule, fathers or grandfathers of emperors often held effective power. This practice continued until the Kamakura Period (1192-1333).

On one occasion, an emperor assumed the throne when he was only seven months old and served as emperor for less than three years before abdicating. It demonstrated that abdication was not necessarily based on the personal intention of the emperor.

There were also examples of Joko becoming embroiled in political upheavals.

There have been no abdications for the past two centuries, however.
Emperor's wish to abdicate raises a slew of tricky issues:The Asahi Shimbun
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  #169  
Old 08-12-2016, 06:12 PM
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I'm not sure whether the use of the Emperor's era name will work in the same way if his reign were to end through abdication instead of death.

It is correct that upon death, Emperor Akihito will be known as Emperor Heisei, but upon an abdication, I believe a different title will be used - something along the lines of "Great Emperor" - until his eventual death, whereupon the era name will be used.

In the meantime, if he did abdicate, I believe the Heisei era will still end and a new era name decided upon and established for the new Emperor Naruhito will start.

I say all this based on what I think the protocols would be, but of-course these are some of the things that would have to be decided upon at the time.
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  #170  
Old 08-13-2016, 03:13 AM
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The Emperor Strikes Back: Japan’s Monarch Takes On Imperialist Abe - The Daily Beast
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  #171  
Old 08-13-2016, 03:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Jacknch View Post


I'm not sure whether the use of the Emperor's era name will work in the same way if his reign were to end through abdication instead of death.

It is correct that upon death, Emperor Akihito will be known as Emperor Heisei, but upon an abdication, I believe a different title will be used - something along the lines of "Great Emperor" - until his eventual death, whereupon the era name will be used.

In the meantime, if he did abdicate, I believe the Heisei era will still end and a new era name decided upon and established for the new Emperor Naruhito will start.

I say all this based on what I think the protocols would be, but of-course these are some of the things that would have to be decided upon at the time.
Off topic, but what is the Heisei? Why will the emperor be named that after he dies?
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  #172  
Old 08-13-2016, 04:45 AM
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A brilliant summing up of the political implications of this.

As I understand it the Emperor's wish for an abdication, put this issue at the very top of issues regarding changes in the Constitution. All other issues are secondary.
That means that the PM, Abe, can't stall for time too much, or he might end up losing the majorities in the Parliament for his changes of the Constitution.
But if he moves ahead at even a reasonable speed, that means changes in the Constitution in general and the government's changes in particular will be debated much more openly in the general public, due to the public focus on the Emperor. - Rather than these changes flying more or less under the radar...

So as I see it the Emperor has checked the PM, not a checkmate yet, but check. - The only thing the PM can hope for now would be that Emperor Akihito die soon or at least have a stroke. Preferably tomorrow.

Not that all the changes proposed by the government are bad IMO. Japan now needs to have a more active foreign and security policy in relation to it's importance. Partly because Japan cannot count on USA coming to it's aide or have time to come to the side of Japan. Especially if USA is preoccupied somewhere else. - And it's not that Japan has that many allies among it's neighbors to put it mildly!
But it's a balance-act. Because if Japan is not seen to be very mindful of it's past, while being more militarily active, it will seriously annoy China and Korea.
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  #173  
Old 08-13-2016, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by SLV View Post
Off topic, but what is the Heisei? Why will the emperor be named that after he dies?
Heisei is the current era in Japan and corresponds to Akihito's reign. Modern-Japan uses two calendar systems: Georgian and the reign year of the current monarch.

The Emperor is never referred to by his given name in Japan. He is either "His Majesty the Emperor" 天皇陛下 (Tennō Heika) or "His Majesty" 陛下 (Heika). It is customary for the deceased emperor to be referred by his reign name. Thus, Akihito will become Emperor Heisei after his death.

Hirohito's reign (1926 - 1989) is the Showa era and he's known posthumously as Emperor Showa
Akihito's reign (1989 - his death/abdication?) should be the Heisei era.
1989 corresponds to Showa 64 and Heisei 1. 2016 is Heisei 28

ETA: officially Showa 64 ended January 7, 1989 at Hirohito's death. Heisei 1 began January 8th.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heisei_period
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  #174  
Old 08-13-2016, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
Heisei is the current era in Japan and corresponds to Akihito's reign. Modern-Japan uses two calendar systems: Georgian and the reign year of the current monarch.

The Emperor is never referred to by his given name in Japan. He is either "His Majesty the Emperor" 天皇陛下 (Tennō Heika) or "His Majesty" 陛下 (Heika). It is customary for the deceased emperor to be referred by his reign name. Thus, Akihito will become Emperor Heisei after his death.

Hirohito's reign (1926 - 1989) is the Showa era and he's known posthumously as Emperor Showa
Akihito's reign (1989 - his death/abdication?) should be the Heisei era.
1989 corresponds to Showa 64 and Heisei 1. 2016 is Heisei 28

ETA: officially Showa 64 ended January 7, 1989 at Hirohito's death. Heisei 1 began January 8th.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heisei_period
Thank you for the explanation. How is the era-name determined.
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  #175  
Old 08-13-2016, 08:36 AM
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Thank you, Prisma.

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Originally Posted by SLV View Post
How is the era-name determined.
Imperial abdication talk poses question of Japan's next era | The Japan Times

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Before and during the war, the Emperor used to have the ultimate responsibility to determine the name of a new era upon his accession, as per the old version of the Imperial House Law.

But Japans World War II surrender resulted in a major rewrite of the law under Allied Occupation, with no mention left of the era system.

[]

In 1979, after an opinion poll a few years earlier by the Cabinet Office found that 87.5 percent of the public used gengo [era name] in their daily lives, the Diet passed a law officially authorizing the Cabinet to designate eras.

One of the most strenuous pro-gengo campaigners was a right-wing organization called Nippon wo Mamoru Kai, a precursor to todays Nippon Kaigi (Japan Conference).

[]

The 1979 Era Name Law stipulates the name of an era can only be updated in tandem with a change in the Imperial throne.

This rule is a holdover from the Meiji Era (1868-1912), when Japan in what became a turning point in its centuries-old gengo system adopted the one reign, one era name principle in emulation of China, meaning only one era name applies to the reign of each emperor.

[]

With the 1979 enactment of the Era Name Law, the power to name a new era shifted from an emperor to the Cabinet. [...] When Emperor Hirohito passed away at the age of 87 on Jan. 7, 1989, the government wasted no time in putting the shortlist of candidates to scrutiny by private experts and chairpersons of the two chambers of the Diet.

Within hours of Emperor Hirohitos death, then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Keizo Obuchi held an emergency news conference announcing to the public the start of the Heisei Era, meaning achieving peace, effective the following day.
Thank you for posting this.

As I wrote in the thread on nationalist politics, the article is incorrect in saying the constitution does not allow abdication, and in dubbing Nippon Kaigi a "cult", but it is worth reading.
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  #176  
Old 08-13-2016, 10:11 AM
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Thank you Tatiana.
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  #177  
Old 08-14-2016, 10:36 AM
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http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003141592

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Eighty-one percent of respondents to a survey said relevant systems should be revised to facilitate an abdication by the Emperor, which is currently prohibited. The number vastly exceeds the 10 percent who said there is no need to revise the relevant systems.

The survey was conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun following the release of a video message in which the Emperor indicated his desire to abdicate.

The survey, conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday, is similar to one conducted on Aug. 3 and 4, before the release of the video message, in that the percentage of those who said revisions are needed remained over 80 percent. In that survey, 84 percent said revisions should be made.
The results of the surveys indicate that most Japanese people approve of changing the relevant systems.

When those in support of revisions were asked specifically how the systems should be changed, 80 percent said it would be better to approve of abdications for the current Emperor and all subsequent emperors. Fourteen percent said revisions should only apply to the current Emperor.

The government will likely set up a panel of experts and other relevant people as early as September to discuss revising the Imperial House Law and enacting a special law for that purpose, among other topics.

When asked about the government’s response to revising relevant systems, 52 percent said it should take urgent action and 43 percent said it should take careful consideration.

Respondents who said they hope that the Emperor remains in his post through such measures as reducing official duties or assigning the crown prince as a regent stood at 37 percent. This is less than the 49 percent who said they do not hope so.
Vast majority of Japanese support emperor's wish to abdicate: poll- Nikkei Asian Review

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TOKYO -- Some 89% of the Japanese public support Emperor Akihito's wishes to step down, a recent opinion poll shows, which could help spur debate over lasting reforms to the Imperial system.

Support consistently came to about 90% across all age groups, genders, occupations and party affiliations in a randomized phone survey conducted by The Nikkei and TV Tokyo this week. Only 4% were opposed to Akihito stepping down.

Seventy-seven percent expressed support in response to a differently worded question on abdication in a July poll. Akihito's recent address to the public signaling his desire to step down seems to have swayed some people.

Of those who supported abdication in this week's poll, 76% thought the government should create a permanent framework that allows all future emperors to retire if they wish, while 18% wanted a one-time provision that applies only to Akihito.

The Japanese constitution prohibits the emperor from making political comments or actions. Eighty-three percent did not see any legal problems with Akihito's address, but 9% thought it was unconstitutional. […]

Fifty-eight percent of respondents thought the government should consider allowing women to accede to the throne and to remain in the Imperial family after marriage.
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  #178  
Old 08-14-2016, 10:46 AM
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I am really happy to see this. I hope there will be theses reformes very quicly
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  #179  
Old 08-14-2016, 01:49 PM
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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.
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  #180  
Old 08-16-2016, 10:52 AM
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Conservative ruling party lawmakers wary of Emperor's possible abdication - The Mainichi

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Ever since the Meiji Constitution and the 1889 Imperial House Law were established, emperors have stayed in their position until their demises. Japan's first prime minister, Hirobumi Ito, who was instrumental in drafting the Meiji Constitution, argued during a meeting in 1887 that once someone ascends to the Imperial Throne, they have no justification to abdicate at will. He saw the emperor as being "a pillar of the state" with complete control of sovereignty, but designed a system in which politics would not be affected by the will of an emperor. In addition, a manual on the 1889 Imperial House Law issued by Ito, pointed out that the Nanbokucho civil war that took place in the early Muromachi period was the result of the then emperor being forced to abdicate by vassals that had built up their own power.

The emperor's status also came into question after Japan lost World War II. In 1946, under the occupation of the Allied Powers, abdication rose as a topic in the Imperial Diet. However, then Minister of State Tokujiro Kanamori argued that "when carrying out symbolic responsibilities under the consensus of the Japanese public, one cannot abdicate based on the individual's circumstances." He also said, "For an emperor, the personal does not exist."

[]

In his video message released on Aug. 8, Emperor Akihito [...] emphasized that as a symbol, it is important for the Emperor -- especially in the modern Heisei era -- to be and work "with the people."

One conservative constitutional scholar has expressed concern, however, saying, "His Majesty the Emperor is industrious and has expanded his public duties, but the more one raises the bar on what it means to be a symbol, the harder it gets for the next generation of emperors."
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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.
Yes. But support has decreased; approximately 75% supported a female emperor ten years ago.
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