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  #541  
Old 06-16-2007, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Furienna View Post
I think the ship has sailed for Princess Aiko since Prince Hisahito was born.

It looks that way...but a lot of things can happen between now and when they "officially" have to declare Prince Hisahito as the heir to the throne and crown prince. There is still a chance for change.
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  #542  
Old 06-19-2007, 01:44 AM
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It looks that way...but a lot of things can happen between now and when they "officially" have to declare Prince Hisahito as the heir to the throne and crown prince. There is still a chance for change.
When is this supposed to happen?
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  #543  
Old 06-19-2007, 06:34 PM
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When is this supposed to happen?
To be honest, I have no idea. But the way it looks right now, it could happen at any moment. Most probably after the current Emperor has passed on and all the other procedures had been said and done.

Its just a guess though and should not be taken seriously. I'm still hoping for change, or at the very least, getting the debat on the issue back on the table.
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  #544  
Old 06-20-2007, 12:46 AM
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Yes. But I'm afraid that time for Princess Aiko's being a Tenno , went away...Hope not. But things seems to show there will be no change by now.

Vanesa.
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  #545  
Old 12-01-2007, 02:29 AM
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For a discussion about the influence of women on the imperial succession in the past, please see the following thread in the Japanese Royal History subforum, started by Prince of Camaria:

http://www.theroyalforums.com/forums...ion-15023.html
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  #546  
Old 04-20-2008, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ladybelline View Post
Article from Lemonde.fr (in French):
Le Monde.fr : Page non trouvée

It is said that the laws of succession could be modified in order to allow Princess Aiko of becoming Empress one day.

I really hope the law will be voted!
Yes, it is possible since their constitution does not mention anything of the succession law which is stated by the Ko****su Tempan or the Imperial House Law (which was copied from the Prussian royal house's Salic law). The last sovereign empress of Japan, the Go'sakuramachi-san was reputed to be one of the best emperors in their history. This Miya-san may well become another wonderful & loving mother figure sovereign to that nation.
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  #547  
Old 01-20-2009, 06:20 PM
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I used to support establishment of male-preferance primogeniture in Japan, but when I read that the current Emperor and Crown Prince of Japan are descended from the Japanese monarchs who reigned 2,000 years ago in an unbroken male line, I immediately changed my opinion. Why break this line? Why ruin a 2,000-year-old tradition when there is a male heir to the imperial throne?

If I recall correctly, all empresses regnant were succeeded by their closest living agnate and not by their children. I would support Aiko's accession to the throne only if she would be succeeded by her closest living agnate. That scenario would allow Aiko to reign and it would also leave the line of Japanese emperors unbroken - two birds with one stone
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  #548  
Old 01-20-2009, 06:42 PM
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I so agree with you. I understand where people are coming from, when they wanted to change the Japanese succession rules. But when it comes to monarchy, traditions are too important to be broken that easily.
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  #549  
Old 01-21-2009, 04:16 AM
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IMHO if Aiko growns up to be anything like her grandmother, Empress Michiko, she would be the best asset Japan would have.
The law as is stands is ridiculous and currently undermines the importance of the position of Aiko's parents. Surely if the law does not believe that Aiko is worthy of becoming an empress in her own right, then the law is at the same time questioning the worthyness of Aiko's parentage. As such, the lawmakers should, one assumes, immediately make Niruhito's younger brother crown prince. Of course, the law makers will not do this as they are clearly happy with Niruhito's position as crown prince. However, such lawmakers should therefore be reminded that the law is not purely consistent in the way one would expect it to be in Japan. The question of the position of any children Aiko has can be dealt with by future generations, but right now, I believe making Aiko's position clear now would do alot to alieviate the question and much to put Aiko's parents minds at ease.
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  #550  
Old 01-21-2009, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Jacknch View Post
IMHO if Aiko growns up to be anything like her grandmother, Empress Michiko, she would be the best asset Japan would have.
The law as is stands is ridiculous and currently undermines the importance of the position of Aiko's parents.
I do not understand how you can call a 2,000-year-old tradition ridiculous. The tradition does not consider Aiko unworthy of becoming an empress. The tradition considers it unworthy to break a 2,000-year-long line of male-line descent of the emperors of Japan. How can that be called ridiculous?

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Surely if the law does not believe that Aiko is worthy of becoming an empress in her own right, then the law is at the same time questioning the worthyness of Aiko's parentage. As such, the lawmakers should, one assumes, immediately make Niruhito's younger brother crown prince.
And why should one assume that the "lawmakers" should immediately make Naruhito's younger brother crown prince? In the eyes of law, Naruhito will be perfectly capable of fathering a male child for as long as he lives. The possibility of a fertile octogenarian is never ruled out.

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Originally Posted by Jacknch View Post
Of course, the law makers will not do this as they are clearly happy with Niruhito's position as crown prince. However, such lawmakers should therefore be reminded that the law is not purely consistent in the way one would expect it to be in Japan. The question of the position of any children Aiko has can be dealt with by future generations, but right now, I believe making Aiko's position clear now would do alot to alieviate the question and much to put Aiko's parents minds at ease.
Aiko's position is perfectly clear now: she is nowhere in the line of succession and both of her parents are aware of that. That doesn't seem to upset them at all.

As I said, I would support Aiko's accession to the throne only if she would be succeeded by her closest living agnate (i.e. by her uncle or paternal cousin, not by her children).
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  #551  
Old 01-21-2009, 09:53 AM
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My knowledge and understanding of the Japanese Imperial Family and the issues surrounding succession is very limited and I apologise for this. I had the impression that it was a problem within the Japanese Imperial Family and within japan itself.

Of-course a 2000 year old law is not ridiculous and I apologise with endless humility for having said that. Just presently there is debate in Britain concerning whether or not catholics should be allowed to become monarchs here and whether the first born child, male or female, should automatically become first in line to the throne. My instinct with regard to British law is that females and males should have equality in this regard (I'm not sure about the Catholic issue as that is rather different and as things stand, a Catholic monarch would have to be head of the Church of England which wouldn't really work). Anyway, I applied the same kind of reasoning and view on the Japanese Imperial Family and Japanese law which , of-course was wrong as the histories and culture of the two countries are totally different.

I fully support the idea of a fully unbroken bloodline, but still question whether that bloodline should be exclusively male rather than female too. The reason I say this is because I think (IMO) that royal blood is royal blood whether or not it is male blood or female blood. Otherwise Queen Elizabeth would be out of a job! Surely the purety of the royal blood of the child remains the same whether the royal parent is male or female.

I misunderstood the situation within the JIF and so you should ignore my references to Naruhito's younger brother becoming crown prince - it was a mistake - I apologise you are right.

On the basis that Aiko's parents are not concerned by the fact that she is out of the succession, then I cannot disagree with that. I still think it would be rather nice for there to be an empress in her own right but if it doesn't happen I think I will survive it.
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  #552  
Old 01-21-2009, 10:40 AM
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The United Kingdom has a long history of female monarchs and male monarchs who succeeded because of their mother's succession rights, which is why it can hardly be compared to Japan.

Although Japan has had eight empresses regnant, neither one of them was succeeded by her child. Instead, they were succeeded by their closest living male relative and the strict male line of descent was not broken. That's why I believe that Aiko should be allowed to succeed, but only if she is succeeded by her closest living male-line relative. It's not because her children wouldn't have imperial blood. It's because it would break the long-standing tradition. Since monarchy is all about tradition, they should think twice before making a decision that would break it.
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  #553  
Old 01-21-2009, 12:25 PM
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This unbroken bloodline may as well be a myth that is generally believed because Japanese officials constantly repeat it and Western journalists blindly repeat it after them... Fritz and Kobayashi, two journalists who have written a book about crown princess Masako, say that a scientist found out that at one point in history it even happened that an adoptive child inherited the throne... So much for the unbroken bloodline, male or female.

And the present emperor became very unpopular with his executives when he mentioned the imperial family having Korean ancestors - although he, brave man, was only speaking the truth. It is naive to believe in everything that Japanese officials, especially members of the IHA, happen to say about the imperial family and its history. This is about a useful myth being protected, not about truth or reality to be found out and seen.

Just one example: for the present, we know that whatever may be the truth about Aiko´s birth (IVF or not?) the IHA would certainly not admit it but would say whatever necessary to "preserve face". So, their words should not be trusted so easily either when it comes to the past.
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  #554  
Old 01-21-2009, 12:34 PM
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The Crown Prince's paternity could also be a myth, yet we believe that his father is The Emperor. If we believe that he is The Emperor's son, then we have to believe that he is a male line descendant of the first emperor, because both informations come from the same source - the Imperial Palace. Choosing to believe one statement, but not the other one, would be hypocritical. Besides, many scholars (including Robert John Smith who published his book in 1974 and Hugh Byas who published his book in 2007) take this "myth" very seriously.

Anyway, it was common for a childless ruler to adopt a male-line nephew or another male-line relative. Such a child would usually succeed even without adoption. Adoption was used to make the succession smoother, as a civil war could break out after the death of a childless ruler.

I have to stress this once again: I do not oppose female succession to any throne, but I do oppose female-line succession to the throne of Japan.
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  #555  
Old 01-21-2009, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kotroman View Post
The United Kingdom has a long history of female monarchs and male monarchs who succeeded because of their mother's succession rights, which is why it can hardly be compared to Japan.

Although Japan has had eight empresses regnant, neither one of them was succeeded by her child. Instead, they were succeeded by their closest living male relative and the strict male line of descent was not broken. That's why I believe that Aiko should be allowed to succeed, but only if she is succeeded by her closest living male-line relative. It's not because her children wouldn't have imperial blood. It's because it would break the long-standing tradition. Since monarchy is all about tradition, they should think twice before making a decision that would break it.
I should really do some research on this myself and I will, but could you explain any of the circumstances surrounding the eight empresses regnant? Were some of them in Aiko's (former) situation where there was no male heir available or was it a case of the next male heir being too young to rule?

I previously assumed that most monarchies worked on the basis that if the monarch has only one child, male or female, that child will be the next monarch. Japan's monarchy works, according to it's long held tradition, on the requirement for a male heir only, which of-course they now have with the little prince, cousin of Aiko. Thank you for helping me to understand this. It just goes to show that the traditions of one culture can be very different from the traditions of another.

With regard to tradition itself, I think this is vitally important for the strength of institutions such as monarchies and indeed all families.
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  #556  
Old 01-21-2009, 05:15 PM
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There have always been and there still are monarchies whose monarchs could be only males. Monarchies that still don't allow women to ascend the throne are Luxembourg (though it had two female monarchs in the 20th century), Liechtenstein, Jordan, Morroco, etc.

Yes, most of Japanese empresses regnant ascended the throne when the next male heir was too young to rule. None of them was in Aiko's situation as emperors had many concubines and many sons to succeed them.

1.Empress Suiko was a daughter of an emperor and also an empress consort as spouse of an emperor (in those days, marriages between imperial brothers and sisters were common ). After two of her husband's successors died, a succession crisis arose as many princes claimed the throne. To prevent the outbreak of a civil war, Suiko accepted the offer of the throne and thus became the first woman to sit on it. She reigned for 35 years. She was succeeded by Jomei, the son of her brother's son = line remained unbroken.
2.Empress Kōgyoku was a great-granddaugher of an emperor and also an empress consort. After a brief reign, she abdicated in favour of her brother. After his death ten years later, she ascended the throne again as Empress Saimei. She died six years later and was succeeded by her brother = line remained unbroken.
3.Empress Jitō was daughter of an emperor and empress consort of another emperor. She assumed the throne after her husband's death in order to secure eventual accession of her young son. However, she outlived her son and was eventually succeeded by the son of her son = line remained unbroken.
4.Empress Gemmei was also daughter of an emperor as well as empress consort of another emperor. She ascended the throne after her son's death because the primogenitural heir, her grandson, was too young. However, she outlived her grandson and eventually abdicated in favour of her daughter, Empress Genshō. Since Genshō was also a male line descandant of emperors of Japan through her father, the line remained unbroken.
5.Empress Genshō never married and reigned for nine years before abdicating in favour of her brother's son = line remained unbroken. She died 25 years after abdication.
6.Empress Kōken was daughter of an emperor who never married. She ascended the throne because all the other imperial princes were too young to do so. She eventually abdicated in favour of her second cousin, but changed her mind six years later and deposed him, thus begging her second reign. She then reigned until her death and was succeeded by her first cousin's grandson, thus the line remained unbroken.
7.Empress Meishō was daughter of an emperor. Her regnal name is a combination of the names of empresses Gemmei and Genshō. Her father abdicated in her favour. She abdicated in favour of her brother = line remained unbroken.
8.Empress Go-Sakuramachi (1740-1813), the last empress regnant of Japan, was named after her father, Emperor Sakuramachi, which is why she is referred to as Sakuramachi II in the old books. She ascended the throne because her olders sister died and her younger brother was a minor. She abdicated after 9 years of reign. She remained influential and served as advisor ("retired emperor") for her less experienced successors. Since her successor was her brother's son, the line remained unbroken.
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  #557  
Old 01-23-2009, 01:16 PM
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That's great information - many thanks!
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  #558  
Old 01-28-2009, 11:01 AM
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It looks that way...but a lot of things can happen between now and when they "officially" have to declare Prince Hisahito as the heir to the throne and crown prince. There is still a chance for change.
That seems like a strong step to take, with a few pitfalls. First, would Prince Akishino really be happy with his son being leapfrogged over him in the line of succession? If he and his brother have the same lifespan, Akishino could be emperor for five years. Second, it's still possible the crown prince may some day have a son. Yes, it's unlikely, but he wouldn't be the first octogenarian who lost his wife, fell in love with a younger woman, and had a late-life child.

I agree with those who say Princess Aiko's chance has probably passed. Unless her father can change the succession when he's emperor, the throne will eventually go to Akishino and then to Hisahito. If Hisahito "only" has daughters, and then the law changes, those daughters will be first in line, followed by Hisahito's sisters, and only then by his cousin Aiko. Actually, by the time Hisahito has children, the girl who should have been empress will probably have been reduced to plain Mrs. Aiko Takahashi (or similar) and the same for Mako and Kako. Writing it out like that, it seems like such an awful example for the country. A child is born to the crown princely couple: a boy becomes emperor, a girl becomes a housewife.
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  #559  
Old 01-29-2009, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Kotroman View Post
The Crown Prince's paternity could also be a myth, yet we believe that his father is The Emperor. If we believe that he is The Emperor's son, then we have to believe that he is a male line descendant of the first emperor, because both informations come from the same source - the Imperial Palace. Choosing to believe one statement, but not the other one, would be hypocritical. Besides, many scholars (including Robert John Smith who published his book in 1974 and Hugh Byas who published his book in 2007) take this "myth" very seriously.

Anyway, it was common for a childless ruler to adopt a male-line nephew or another male-line relative. Such a child would usually succeed even without adoption. Adoption was used to make the succession smoother, as a civil war could break out after the death of a childless ruler.

I have to stress this once again: I do not oppose female succession to any throne, but I do oppose female-line succession to the throne of Japan.
You say - if I understand you right - that if one disbelieves one thing a person or institution is saying one ought to disbelieve in consequence all the rest of what they say. In this point, I do not share your opinion. I suppose the IHA to be capable of telling whatever lie they deem necessary to “preserve face” but that does not mean that I think them incapable of occasionally also saying the truth when it fits their concepts. I believe Naruhito to be the son of Akihito because, at present, there is no suspicious fact within my knowledge that would indicate the contrary. But if there WERE such suspicious facts the statements of the IHA would certainly not prevent me from taking them into serious consideration. Anyway, there are already, at least, two things that the IHA says and that, to my mind, are lies (for reasons that I have explained somewhere else in this forum): the “natural” conception of Aiko as well as that of Hisahito. So, I really do not see what should prevent me from disbelieving even more of what they say.

That does not mean that I am absolutely sure that the famous line of descent HAS in fact been broken. The scientist whom Fritz and Kobayashi quote (who, bye the bye, seems to say that the line of descent WAS broken by the adoption which, if he is right, excludes the possibility of adoption within the family in this special case) may be wrong, or even more probable, he may have some or even strong evidence for what he says – but after so many centuries having passed I doubt that he could be able to prove what he says with a certainty that would not allow of a single doubt. We know that it is rather common in the science of history that you may have a certain or even strong evidence for what you say but after much time having passed and, even worse, if it has possibly been tried to cover up a certain fact, a strong probability is usually all you can reasonably hope for. So, the line of descent may have rested unbroken for a very long time, or it may have been broken. All I am saying is that we cannot be absolutely sure of neither one possibility nor the other.

And concerning the practical consequence of this question, the succession: although I do think that there would have been a certain chance for the Japanese nation in a woman inheriting the throne, a chance to heal the gap between - let´s say: the more modern or Western-oriented Japanese (who usually belong to the younger generation) on one hand and the more conservative, older Japanese on the other, I clearly see that this chance was gone as soon as Hisahito was born. The wide national consent about accepting a woman as the heiress was only possible as long as there was no alternative.

And, besides that, there is, at least, one person who is much better off like things are now: Aiko´s future husband. I am very sure that Hisahito´s future wife will have a hard life but the life of Aiko´s husband, had she been destined to become reigning empress, would probably have been hell on earth (and, mind me, not because of Aiko)… So, setting aside all ideological reflections, I think that Hisahito´s birth saved a lot of trouble to a lot of persons (well, probably not including Hisahito himself… ) The imperial family´s life is hard enough as it is, IMO, they already have probably just as much problems as they can handle (or even more).

So, my point is neither that I am absolutely sure that this unbroken line of descent is a myth nor that I insist on Aiko inheriting the throne. But what I absolutely dislike is the way in which a lot of official Japanese (well, not only Japanese but here we are talking of Japan) use or rather: abuse historical facts or – lies. I will give an example for what I mean: in January 1990, Japanese nationalists tried to kill the mayor of Nagasaki, Hitoshi Motoshima, who had publicly declared that, in his opinion, the emperor (Hirohito) had been to a degree personally responsible for the war.

But who was criticized by the public after that incident? Not the criminal who had tried to kill Motoshima and not the fanatics who had before been calling for his death - but he himself, the victim. Noburu Tasaki, director of the museum of peace in Nagasaki, put it like that: “The Japanese do not want to believe that Japan was responsible for committing cruelties. We live in harmony with other nations.” So, by saying that the emperor, the symbol of the Japanese mind and unity, was not guiltless, Motoshima had destroyed harmony. And that was his fault. If he had been right or wrong in saying that – that was not an issue and was never discussed. (For more and, IMO, even more shocking, details about nasty facts just having been denied because they were nasty not because they were untrue - in Japan and elsewhere - see: Erna Paris: “Long shadows. Truth, Lies and History.” Toronto 2000)

And this is a sort of abuse of historical science that I will always and everywhere strongly oppose. And that this is still the prevalent way of dealing with the history of the Japanese imperial family we can also see from the fact that prince Naruhito had to struggle very hard when he wanted to study history at an independent university: That was not thought suitable for a member of the imperial family because there he might be taught to take too independent a view of the tenno and the part he had played in history. - Many conservative, nationalist Japanese do not care if something is true or not, as long as it serves their purpose. They think that nationalism is more important than facts. It is this attitude that I will simply never accept.

Also because in this way we actually do not have a fair chance to find out what the facts really are. A Japanese historian who would find out during his research that the line of descent in the imperial family has in fact been broken would need nearly the courage of a Galilei to let this information slip to a broader public. Erna Paris reports that a professor of pedagogics, Saburo Ienaga, and a veteran of Nanking, Shiro Azuma, who had tried to inform the public about the Nanking massacre got anonymous threats that they would be killed. Ienaga´s house was beleaguered by angry nationalists who screamed threats, and collegues blamed him of being “unjapanese”. (Remarkably the same accuse that has sometimes been uttered against the crown princess.)

The Nanking massacre was committed on the 13th December 1937 by Japanese troops in Nanking, China, and I do not want to give any details here because they are really too horrible. (If you are interested see: Young Shi; Yin, James: The Rape of Nanking: An undeniable History in Photographs, Chicago 1996 or: Nanking Massacre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.) Although it is fairly well documented and is undoubtedly a fact, it is still widely unknown to the Japanese public. A courageous English professor in Fukuoka, on the Kyushu island, Yoshiyuki Masaki, has translated information about the Nanking massacre into Japanese and has put it on his website, asking liberal members of the Japanese house of commons, the Shugiin, for their support. A member of the government told him that he absolutely agreed with him and that, according to him, Japanese schoolbooks should mention the Nanking massacre (which they do not). But when Masaki asked him if he would allow him to put this statement on his website the government member said that he preferred his opinion not to get public. Another politician, member of the Shugiin, consented to have her support published on the website but received so much hate-mail that in the end she decided to withdraw her consent.

That people in Japan are afraid to publish controversial facts, and especially concerning the imperial family, even if they are undoubtedly true or even banalities, you can also see from the fact that the Japanese TV does not dare to broadcast a statement from a British journalist who says that the common British people are a bit at a loss to understand why it should be so unthinkable to the Japanese nation to let a woman succeed on the throne and that the Japanese interviewer asks him: “if he is not afraid of the ultra right”. The Family And The Society: Search results for A+girl+would+be+better+for+Japan

So what I want to say is that even if there were an absolutely indubitable proof for the line of descent of the imperial family having in fact been broken I see reasons to doubt that this information would ever make its way to a broader public.
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:53 AM
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Writing it out like that, it seems like such an awful example for the country. A child is born to the crown princely couple: a boy becomes emperor, a girl becomes a housewife.
You are right but I am afraid such are more or less the facts for all Japanese at present: a boy becomes - whatever, a girl - if she wants to marry and have children of her own - becomes a housewife. (If the daughter of the crown prince wants to stay a princess she can remain single - but naturally this is for her as for most commoner women a huge sacrifice that is not being asked of men.)
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Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


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