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  #961  
Old 05-08-2017, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
Gov't plan in 2014 nixed idea of female branches of imperial family - The Mainichi
Quote:
The government proposed in 2014 a plan that does not favor creating female branches of the imperial family, while allowing females to still take part in the family's activities, a government source said Saturday.

[...]

But the plan was never adopted by Abe's Cabinet as his government prioritized other issues such as the passage of draft security legislation, which enables Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense.

[...]

Once a bill to enable the one-off abdication law applicable only to Emperor Akihito clears parliament as planned, the government may revisit the set of proposals to tackle the shrinking number of imperial family members.

Giving female members such imperial duties, even after they marry commoners, will not require any change in current laws including the Imperial House Law, the source said, adding the government will shoulder the expenses for their tasks.

[...]

A government advisory panel issued in the following month a final report underscoring the need to swiftly take measures to reverse a decline in the number of imperial family members. But it did not suggest creation of female branches.

[...]
I doubt Abe and his cabinet will revisit retaining princesses soon and certainly never consider female branches. After pushing the abdication legislation through, Abe's government probably doesn't want to deal with the Imperial House for a while. He recently announced plans to amend Article 9 (war-renouncing) of the Constitution, aiming for the revision to take effect in 2020.

Japan PM unveils plan to amend Constitution, put into force in 2020 - The Mainichi

Abe calls for 'historic step' toward amending Constitution this year | The Japan Times
I certainly agree. Since Abe will, to all appearances, serve as prime minister until 2021 or longer, and it is not known whether his successor will support female branches, the princesses will need to defer marriage indefinitely if they wish to retain their status.


70% back female emperor or succession from the female line: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:
The results showed that the percentage of respondents who said they are not so concerned about the imperial family’s stable continuation is lower among the group endorsing a female emperor or matrilineal emperor than the one insisting on the male line.
[...]
About 70 percent of the supporters of the male line were also opposed to the idea [of returning former imperial family branches].
The Asahi Shimbun mailed questionnaires to 3,000 randomly selected eligible voters throughout the country from mid-March to late April. Of them, 2,020, or 67 percent, gave valid responses.
The survey for the first time covered newly eligible voters aged 18 or 19.
75% Women should be allowed to inherit the throne
21% Only men should be allowed to inherit the throne

72% Matrilineal emperor is acceptable
24% Male line should be maintained

The establishment of houses headed by a female royal
49% approve
40% oppose

Return of the former imperial branches to the family
20% approve
67% oppose


Political affiliation

In favor of a female emperor
78% of nonaffiliated respondents
77% of Democratic Party supporters
72% of Liberal Democratic Party (ruling party) supporters

In favor of a matrilineal emperor
76% of nonaffiliated respondents
75% of Democratic Party supporters
65% of Liberal Democratic Party supporters


Concern about the imperial family's stable continuation

Strongly concerned: 9% of respondents
13% of the group opposing matrilineal emperors
11% of the group opposing female emperors
8% of the group supporting female emperors
7% of the group supporting matrilineal emperors

Concerned to some extent: 38% of respondents
43% of the group opposing matrilineal emperors
42% of the group opposing female emperors
38% of the group supporting female emperors
37% of the group supporting matrilineal emperors

Not strongly concerned: 41% of respondents
44% of the group supporting matrilineal emperors
42% of the group supporting female emperors
37% of the group opposing female emperors
34% of the group opposing matrilineal emperors

Not at all concerned: 10% of respondents
10% of the group supporting female emperors
10% of the group supporting matrilineal emperors
9% of the group opposing female emperors
9% of the group opposing matrilineal emperors


I am confused by respondents who would like princesses and their descendants to become emperors yet do not want them as members of the imperial family.
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  #962  
Old 05-17-2017, 11:02 AM
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The administration plans to start a full-fledged discussion on the decreasing number of imperial family members only in 2019 or later after the emperor's abdication is achieved.

But a senior LDP official close to the prime minister dismissed the proposal [on establishment of branches headed by a female member].

“Some of the female members may wish to leave the imperial family upon their marriage,” the official said. “Founding a branch headed by a female member is an unrealistic approach.”

The official suggested a system in which female members retain a degree of public status even after marriage to a commoner and can assist the imperial family in performing official duties and other activities.
Mako's marriage likely to reignite debate on female lineage, duties:The Asahi Shimbun


Quote:
Hiroshi Ogushi, chairman of the DP [Democratic Party] Policy Research Council, told reporters during a press conference that, "I want related parties to talk about reaching a conclusion within a set time frame." In addition, a DP assembly member has said that, "There is a need to discuss whether the legislation can be applied to Princess Mako during the extraordinary Diet session in autumn."

A source close to the government, on the other hand, is hesitant about the opposition party's plan, saying, "I have doubts about this notion of politicizing what is essentially a cause for celebration."

Numerous issues continue to linger. [...] In the past, there have been no cases in which a male commoner has married into the Imperial Family. However, if the male spouse retains his commoner status after marrying into the Imperial Family, the family dynamic would become complicated with one half being imperial, and the other half not. A senior official within the prime minister's office says, "This is not something that can be concluded within one to two years." Moreover, a child born between the female Imperial Family member and her spouse would not be eligible to succeed to the throne, and this would not provide an effective solution to the shrinking size of the Imperial Family.
Princess Mako's likely engagement puts spotlight on imperial succession - The Mainichi

Quote:
Some Diet members want to add the creation of female Imperial branches to the discussion, aiming to put it in a Diet resolution accompanying the enactment of the special measures [abdication] law. A great question is to what extent they will be able to do so. [...]

Female Imperial family members are covering the activities of the males, whose numbers are declining.
Engagement news spurs debate on 'female Imperial branches' - The Japan News
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  #963  
Old 05-17-2017, 02:00 PM
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Wow! They are almost standing on their heads in order to point how it is utterly impossible to inherit through a female line.

But how is this different from commoners marrying a male heir?
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  #964  
Old 05-21-2017, 04:12 AM
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Shrinking Imperial Family has gov't considering princesses' post-nuptial status - The Mainichi
Quote:
The government is considering measures to arrest the decline in the number of Imperial Family members, following Cabinet approval of the special law allowing Emperor Akihito to abdicate and the likely upcoming marriage of Princess Mako, after which she will become a commoner.

[…]

While the issue of branch houses headed by women has been set on the back burner for the time being, allowing princesses to continue royal duties as public servants is under consideration. The measure would not require special amendments to the Imperial House Law, only a Cabinet decision. Figures close to Prime Minister Abe have stated that they are open to the possibility, and since it requires no special legislation, the decision is up to the prime minister.

In October 2012, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)-led administration of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda released a summary which not only proposed that princesses be allowed to establish their own branch houses, but also continue their official duties as national civil servants even if they had left the Imperial Family after marriage. Both suggestions applied only to the daughters or granddaughters of the emperor.

According to government sources, the second Cabinet of Prime Minister Abe also considered the civil servant proposal for a time. In October of 2014, weighing the exit of Prince Takamado's middle daughter Noriko from the Imperial Family after her marriage to a commoner, it was debated whether the proposal should be extended to other princesses in the family. However, the idea was ultimately abandoned. The then Princess Noriko was the great-granddaughter of Emperor Taisho, not a direct descendant of the reigning Emperor. However, Princess Mako is a direct relation, and if the proposal is approved, she could be allowed to continue her official duties as a civil servant after her wedding.

Prime Minister Abe's conservative base also supports this proposal. In March 2015, lawmakers belonging to the Nippon Kaigi (Japan Conference) conservative group made the request to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. They made a point of opposing female branch houses, however, to avoid any chance of an emperor outside the Imperial Family's direct male bloodline succeeding to the throne.

The government will consider the proposal based on public opinion after the passage of the bill allowing Emperor Akihito to abdicate.

[...]
Since the Imperial House Law regulates titles and Imperial membership, I assume Mako will still loose her title but continue official duties as Mrs. Komuro if the prime minister makes the decision? What happens if the next prime minister decides ex-princesses are no longer needed? What would the order of precedence be for official ceremonies? Mako Komuro behind the last Imperial members (Takamado-no-miya) or still with Akishino-no-miya?
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  #965  
Old 05-25-2017, 12:36 AM
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Politicians tied to Nippon Kaigi reject female-led imperial lines: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:
Conservative politicians vowed to “crush” a proposal that would allow females to head branches of the continually shrinking imperial family.

Twenty-three lawmakers, mostly from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, held a meeting in the Diet on May 23 to discuss how to maintain the traditional imperial succession of male lineage.

They are all close to Nippon Kaigi (Japan Conference), a group that advocates revisions to the Constitution.

[…]

Some lawmakers at the May 23 meeting said that proposal “must be crushed,” according to participants.

After the meeting, Masahiko Shibayama, an LDP Lower House member and special adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, summed up the talks to reporters.

The participants “shared the understanding that it is wrong to have such a proposal being forwarded from the very beginning,” Shibayama said.

[…]

Some participants suggested reviving imperial family branches that were abolished after the end of World War II.

“The 11 former imperial family branches became subjects of the state as a result of the (Allied) occupation policy,” one lawmaker was quoted as saying.
DP unveils resolution on female Imperial family members being able to establish branches | The Japan Times

Quote:
Japan’s main opposition force, the Democratic Party, on Wednesday released its draft of a Diet resolution to be attached to a bill for Emperor Akihito’s abdication, ahead of parliamentary deliberations on the bill.

The draft resolution urges the government to consider allowing female members of the Imperial family to establish branches of the family, so that they maintain their Imperial status after getting married, amid the family’s falling membership.

[…]

The LDP and the DP are working to reach an accord on the planned resolution by this weekend, before starting Diet deliberations on the abdication bill.

The draft resolution urges the government to conduct a study on the branch family system as soon as after the abdication bill’s enactment and to submit a study report to the Diet within a year.

The DP draft also calls for the abdication legislation, which will apply to the current Emperor only, to be enforced as soon as possible, considering his age.

[…]
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  #966  
Old 05-27-2017, 01:29 AM
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68% of public in favor of 'empress regnant' idea: Mainichi poll - The Mainichi
Quote:
Sixty-eight percent of people are in favor of Japan having an "empress regnant," according to a nationwide survey conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun.

Meanwhile, the percentage of pollees who are against the notion of an empress regnant was found to be considerably less, at 12 percent. These poll results show that there is a significant gap between the general public and the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which is negative about the idea of Japan having an empress regnant or a matrilineal emperor.

Broken down by gender, it was found that 72 percent of men support having an empress regnant, and that a mere 12 percent do not. For women, 65 percent of respondents were found to be in favor, and 12 percent against. In addition, of those who support the current Abe administration, 68 percent of people said that they agree with the idea.

On the issue of Japan having an empress regnant or a matrilineal emperor, a government panel of experts submitted a report to then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in 2005, suggesting that the proposal be accepted. Furthermore, in a national survey conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun in December 2005, it was found that 85 percent of people were in favor of having an empress regnant.

In a subsequent poll conducted in September 2006 immediately after the birth of Prince Hisahito -- Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko's son -- the percentage of people in favor dropped to 72 percent. Nevertheless, the arguments in support of an empress regnant continue to run deep.
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  #967  
Old 05-27-2017, 04:00 AM
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To be expected. The ultra-conservatives may huff and puff all they want. It's not the Emperor who is not in contact with the people. They are.
They are fighting a futile rearguard action.

The option of abdicating is out of the bag and can be used by future emperors now.

As for females succeeding on the throne, that may change as early as with the next government.
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  #968  
Old 05-31-2017, 02:24 AM
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'Female-led Imperial Family branches' part of draft bill for Emperor's abdication - The Mainichi
Quote:
In a concessional move, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is set to allow the establishment of female-headed branch houses of the Imperial Family to be specified in a draft additional resolution to a special bill to allow Emperor Akihito's abdication, putting priority on stable Imperial succession and making it likely for the draft to incorporate the proposal.

On May 29, House of Representatives Committee on Rules and Administration chief Tsutomu Sato of the LDP presented to other parties a draft of an additional resolution to a special bill allowing the Emperor's retirement, which included a stipulation calling for the government to consider the establishment of branch houses headed by married female Imperial Family members.

The LDP had maintained reservations about women-headed Imperial branch houses due to concerns among many conservative party members that it could lead to the advent of matrilineal emperors in the future. However, the party decided to allow the draft additional resolution [...] after making a concession to the largest opposition Democratic Party (DP), paving the way for the proposed resolution to spell out the new rule.

[...] The DP has insisted that female members be allowed to create their own Imperial branch houses even after marriage.

[...] The draft states that the government would start considering the establishment of such branch houses "soon after the law comes into effect," as proposed by the LDP and its coalition partner Komeito. The draft stipulates that reports on the results of discussions on the issue should be made to the Diet "swiftly," but does not specify any deadline for such reports.

[...] DP Secretary-General Yoshihiko Noda insisted that a conclusion be drawn at the earliest date possible by setting a deadline, leaving the issues on the timing for starting government discussion on the establishment of female-led branch houses and the deadlines for filing reports to the Diet major points of contention.

[...]

At an LDP board meeting on May 29, party Diet affairs chief Wataru Takeshita emphasized that the party would do its utmost to send the bill to allow Emperor Akihito's retirement to the House of Councillors within this week after having it pass the lower house.

The LDP and DP had earlier decided that the two parties should agree on the content of the draft additional resolution to the bill before discussion in the upper house starts. The LDP apparently made concessions to ensure the earlier passage of the bill. The DP had earlier presented a draft resolution stating that "The government will consider the establishment of female-led Imperial Family branches swiftly after the passage of the special law allowing the Emperor to abdicate and file reports to the Diet within a year."

The view of the Diet on the issue [...] called on the government to start looking into the establishment of female-led branch houses promptly after the abdication law's implementation. However, the DP demanded that the discussion be started even earlier, arguing that it would be too late to wait until the end of 2018 to start the discussion, when the abdication law is expected to come into effect. The abdication bill states that the legislation will come into effect on the day Emperor Akihito steps down.
So... I guess no matter what happens, Princess Mako will leave the Imperial family if she marries in summer 2018.
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  #969  
Old 05-31-2017, 07:24 AM
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It would seem so, unless they make it what do you call it? Retroactive? - Which I can't imagine the current government is willing to do.
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  #970  
Old 06-01-2017, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
'Female-led Imperial Family branches' part of draft bill for Emperor's abdication - The Mainichi

So... I guess no matter what happens, Princess Mako will leave the Imperial family if she marries in summer 2018.
If the government acquiesces to the Diet's proposal to start discussions in 2019 on female branches "among other things" (the supplementary resolution will not be legally binding), will they remember it after two years? At the time Akihito will be retired, Mako Komuro will be a commoner, and Abe will be busy with revision of the Constitution.

Draft resolution calls for debate on female Imperial branches - The Japan News
Quote:
While the LDP has been cautious about the idea so far, it planned to accept the resolution if the proposal for a discussion on female Imperial branches includes the wording “among other things,” which implies the discussion will not solely be about the creation of female Imperial branches, according to a senior LDP member.
Abdication bill set to pass with supplement on female-led lines?The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:
Although Democratic Party lawmakers argued that dealing with the shrinking imperial family was an urgent issue that required an early start of discussions, they eventually bent to the LDP insistence that consideration only begin [after December 2018].

The inclusion of wording on female-led family branches was a major reason the Democratic Party compromised. To appease LDP opposition to such family branches, the topic was listed alongside the one about dealing with various issues to ensure stable imperial succession.

Having the two topics as subjects for government consideration allows the LDP to argue that establishing female-led branches would not necessarily lead to discussions about whether to allow female emperors. The party could argue that considering female-led branches would be a way to deal with the declining number of imperial family members rather than ensuring stable imperial succession.
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  #971  
Old 06-02-2017, 11:09 AM
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“The prime minister strongly prefers male-line succession,” a high-ranking government official recently said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official suggested that the government could even shelve the proposed reform until they determine whether the future wife of Prince Hisahito, the son of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, can produce “several boys,” which would temporarily stabilize the succession system.
Lower House panel gives nod to one-off abdication bill | The Japan Times
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  #972  
Old 06-03-2017, 01:26 AM
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Poor woman. So frustrating the conservatives insist on pressuring Prince Hisahito and his future wife or depend on medical/fertility treatments. Also, the male determines the sex of the child.

I suppose Hisahito will be encouraged to marry young or marry a younger woman if he chooses to wait.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
It would seem so, unless they make it what do you call it? Retroactive? - Which I can't imagine the current government is willing to do.
I agree. Very doubtful. The best chance to keep Mako would be to treat her as a civil servant after marriage... on the whim of the Prime Minister. I can see PM Abe rejecting that proposal too. It raises the questions "If she's performing official duties anyway, why can't she remain princess/Imperial member? Why can't there be another special law limited to Mako and Kako to help their brother?"
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  #973  
Old 06-03-2017, 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Prisma View Post

Poor woman. So frustrating the conservatives insist on pressuring Prince Hisahito and his future wife or depend on medical/fertility treatments. Also, the male determines the sex of the child.

I suppose Hisahito will be encouraged to marry young or marry a younger woman if he chooses to wait.
It really begs the question of who in their right mind would agree to marry Hisahito in the future with the already known pressure they would face?
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  #974  
Old 06-03-2017, 03:47 AM
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It's also a very short-sighted stance by the government.

Japan is basically only one tragedy away from all of a sudden having to rush in a female spare.
There are simply not enough prepared spares around.

There is a huge difference, not least in regards to a future husband, in knowing from birth that you might be a reserve and suddenly at say 21, being told that you suddenly are the heir.

What if the current male heir dies? Develop mental issues in his teens (that's often when they start)? Is gay? Is sterile?
What are they going to do then? Force him into an unhappy marriage? Clone him?
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  #975  
Old 06-04-2017, 07:39 AM
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Yeah... We might feel sorry for the three young princesses, who have kept from the succession to the throne because they are girls. But I can also feel very sorry for Hisahito, who has to live with all this pressure being pushed upon him. And as much as I understand that tradition is important to many people in Japan, it is very dangerous to just put all your eggs in one basket.
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  #976  
Old 06-04-2017, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
The best chance to keep Mako would be to treat her as a civil servant after marriage... on the whim of the Prime Minister. I can see PM Abe rejecting that proposal too. It raises the questions "If she's performing official duties anyway, why can't she remain princess/Imperial member? Why can't there be another special law limited to Mako and Kako to help their brother?"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
What happens if the next prime minister decides ex-princesses are no longer needed? What would the order of precedence be for official ceremonies? Mako Komuro behind the last Imperial members (Takamado-no-miya) or still with Akishino-no-miya?
Absolutely agree. Perhaps also "if a civil servant is performing the imperial family's official duties, why do conservatives profess that 'Emperor' is not a job"?

Quote:
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
Prime Minister Abe will only approve of appointing Mrs. Komuro as a civil servant if it will shut down debate about female-led branches and succession. Analogous to his reluctant consent to one-time abdication in exchange for avoiding permanent reforms
(Eri Hotta: Emperor Akihito's lonely struggle to reform Japan's imperial system- Nikkei Asian Review).

Quote:
Sidestepping Imperial succession debate, government eyes duties for former female members | The Japan Times

In a bid to “avoid a debate” on allowing women to establish branches of the Imperial family amid falling membership, the government is considering a system to grant official status to former female members and give them some official duties, sources said.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
It's also a very short-sighted stance by the government.

Japan is basically only one tragedy away from all of a sudden having to rush in a female spare.
There are simply not enough prepared spares around.

There is a huge difference, not least in regards to a future husband, in knowing from birth that you might be a reserve and suddenly at say 21, being told that you suddenly are the heir.

What if the current male heir dies? Develop mental issues in his teens (that's often when they start)? Is gay? Is sterile?
What are they going to do then? Force him into an unhappy marriage? Clone him?
Even worse, the current government would attempt to rush in a private citizen who has never been prepared to assume any imperial role, not even the role of a spare.
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  #977  
Old 06-08-2017, 02:57 AM
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  #978  
Old 06-08-2017, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
It's also a very short-sighted stance by the government.

Japan is basically only one tragedy away from all of a sudden having to rush in a female spare.
There are simply not enough prepared spares around.

There is a huge difference, not least in regards to a future husband, in knowing from birth that you might be a reserve and suddenly at say 21, being told that you suddenly are the heir.

What if the current male heir dies? Develop mental issues in his teens (that's often when they start)? Is gay? Is sterile?
What are they going to do then? Force him into an unhappy marriage? Clone him?
Considering the only reason Hisahito is here today is to ensure the future of the monarchy, I think it will have been made very clear to him from the start that his duty to Japan is all that matters. IMO he'll be expected to marry young - well before he's 30 - to an equally young, healthy woman from a good family who knows exactly what's expected of her. They'll be expected to have several children as soon as possible and, if needed, will use reproductive technology to ensure there are at least two boys in the mix. If he's gay, too bad. Mental health issues? Most of them don't preclude people from having children. Wants to pursue his education/travel/personal interests? He can do that once he's had children.

While I've never understood the antipathy towards the most straightforward solution of letting women join the line of succession, I don't think the one time/short term solutions proposed by politicians are short sighted. From their point of view they just need to ride things out until Hisahito is grown. Yes, he could be struck by lightning tomorrow or decide he's going to throw it all away and run off to be a surfer in Australia, but the most likely scenario is that he'll be fine and do exactly what he's supposed to do and the problem will be solved.
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  #979  
Old 06-08-2017, 11:58 PM
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That is indeed the most likely scenario and we can only hope it will happen the way you describe it. I.e. without fuzz and troubles.

But my point still stands, I believe. It is in my opinion downright silly to automatically exclude 50 % of the potential spares.
Beforehand you could hide an unhappy marriage, homosexuality, mental issues or various scandals behind the palace walls. That is very difficult nowadays.
It's simply too dangerous not to have at least two full-time spares in reserve.
Also, because the spares can divert attention away from an "unfortunate" heir.
Even that option is ruled out for females. As it is now, and according to the government that's how it should remain, if they get married they are out.

There is a good point in redundancy.
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  #980  
Old 06-09-2017, 03:23 AM
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CP Naruhito had a long and tough time finding a wife. There won't be a sister-in-law to help if Prince Hisahito & wife cannot have children or only have daughters. Even medical intervention isn't a guarantee; I assume fertility treatments have improved since 2000s yet they take a toll on women's health.

The lackluster response from the public doesn’t help. Most do not see the urgency, adopting a wait and see approach despite polls favoring female emperors.

Tokyo draws line between succession, female Imperial branches- Nikkei Asian Review
Quote:
TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's spokesman indicated Wednesday that a proposal to let women establish their own Imperial family branches should not be thought of as a means to ensure stable Imperial succession amid a shrinking number of royal heirs.

Japan should maintain a male line of succession to the Imperial throne, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a parliamentary committee.

[…]

"Female-led Imperial family houses must be debated separately from Imperial succession," Toranosuke Katayama of opposition party Nippon Ishin no Kai said at the committee meeting.

In his response, Suga positioned female Imperial branches as a way to bolster the family's dwindling ranks. […]

The opposition Democratic Party had pushed for the clause on female-led houses to be added to the resolution during talks with the ruling coalition, specifically to address the succession issue. But Suga reiterated in a news conference after the committee meeting that the two matters are separate, noting that the resolution's language does not tie them together.

[…]

Suga's mention of "the shrinking Imperial family" alludes to the division of public duties among its members to lighten the burden on the emperor. A proposal has been floated to let women continue performing these duties after marriage.

[…]

The government has suggested restoring 11 Imperial family branches stripped of that status after World War II. Abe told the Diet in January that he had considered this, as well as letting the Imperial family adopt from these houses, as possibilities before becoming prime minister. But some do not see the return of the old branches as a viable option, since their members are unfamiliar with Imperial life.
I think there are only 6 or 7 ex-Imperial branches left as some also had all girls or no children.

Japan’s Parliament Passes Law Allowing Emperor to Abdicate - The New York Times
Quote:
[…]

“I am sure Abe has done the political calculation,” said Kenneth J. Ruoff, a history professor and the director of the Center for Japanese Studies at Portland State University in Oregon, “and decided it’s far better not to tick off the far right that feels intensely about this rather than cater to a largely passive majority that thinks that women should be allowed to sit on the throne.”

[…]

“It’s so obvious that there are not enough imperial family members,” said Keiko Hongo, a professor of medieval history at the University of Tokyo. “We should accept the reality. That is an unavoidable issue to be discussed.”

Mr. Abe has not commented on the role of women in the imperial family, despite his oft-repeated political rhetoric about creating a society in which “women can shine.”

Mr. Ruoff said this inevitably made Mr. Abe appear hypocritical, but suggested that introducing the question of female bloodlines was a shrewd strategy.

“It seems to be an interesting pathway to say ‘guess what, there isn’t any other heir, so we have to pick someone from this female bloodline, and then once the male bloodline is broken anyway, what’s the big deal?’ ” Mr. Ruoff said. “It’s almost as if they are putting themselves in a position down the road for checkmate. I think a lot more thought has gone into this than might initially meet the eye.”

Japan has not always prohibited women on the throne, and it is now one of the few monarchies in the world that do not allow women to reign. According to Japanese myth, the emperor’s lineage goes back 2,700 years, and in the 125 generations that have been recorded since, eight women ruled when no adult men were eligible.

What’s more, said Kazuto Hongo, who is also a professor of medieval history at the University of Tokyo and is the husband of Keiko Hongo, Japanese mythology traces the imperial line back to the goddess Amaterasu.

“She was not only female, but also on the top of all the gods,” said Mr. Hongo. “If we do not allow a woman on the throne,” he added, “we will be punished by Amaterasu.”
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