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  #561  
Old 02-02-2009, 11:49 AM
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'Fairy Tale' Keeps Japanese Royals Up at Night
Health Problems and Succession Fears Nag at Japanese Imperial Family
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Oshima said one of the concerns for the future is a lack of members within the Imperial Family. "By the time Prince Hisahito is at an adult age and is expected to tend to official duties, most or possibly all of the female members could be out of the family under the current law," Oshima said.
"It would be a heavy load for Prince Hisahito and for other male members of the family to carry. Of course, you cannot deny the possibility of more male heirs to be born in the near future but someone should take a look at the status quo if we are serious about preserving the ancient monarchy."
This may indicate that the IHA and other parties concerned still hope to make the Crown Princely couple secure the bloodline with another male. Although I am in favour of having the male/equal primogeniture, I think that the Crown Princely couple should not be softly intimidated into producing an heir.

ABC News: 'Fairy Tale' Keeps Japanase Royals Up at Night
(courtesy of Salonika)
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  #562  
Old 02-03-2009, 12:53 PM
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Succession may not be an issue if this article has any merit to it:

Japanese dare to ask: Do we really need an emperor? | csmonitor.com
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  #563  
Old 02-03-2009, 01:10 PM
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Wow... I almost feel depressed, having read that article.
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  #564  
Old 02-03-2009, 01:33 PM
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The article by Rena Singer has highlighted interesting issues within the Imperial family.
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The royals have no private money, no private phones, and essentially no private lives. Even relationships within the family are managed by the 1,200-person IHA, which has not been diffident in sharing its views.
Such unhealthy, I dare to say, situation makes the Imperial family look insincere and robotic, which does not sit well with a current generation of the Japanese.
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  #565  
Old 02-03-2009, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Furienna View Post
Wow... I almost feel depressed, having read that article.
This is indeed a depressing article and I feel quite worried for the family. Surely it cannot be right that the Emperor and Empress of Japan (not to mention their daughter in law) are suffering ill health, both physically and mentally, not necessarily due to age, but due to stress. The IHA will have to think carefully about the way in which they control the imperial family or they run the risk of a reduced number of family members to carry on into the future.
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  #566  
Old 02-03-2009, 01:59 PM
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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.
There is a simple solution to this: Aiko gets to be Tenno and she marries Hasiato, who as consort will still have the same imperial bloodline that qualifies him to be emperor. Thus, when their first born suceeds to his MOTHER'S throne, the blood line will still not have been broken.
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  #567  
Old 02-03-2009, 02:06 PM
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Possibility of Princess Aiko succeeding her father is quite remote at this point in time. At the same time, I do not exlcude that Crown Prince Naruhito's ascension to the throne may bring about certain changes aimed at "confronting a sharp crisis of confidence" (Singer, 2009), thereby redefining the role of the Imperial family within the current not-so-conservative Japanese society . However, it is impossible to calculate a degree of possible changes. Additionally, the Japanese are not known for marrying the first cousins ... to the best of my knowledge.
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  #568  
Old 02-04-2009, 04:25 AM
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I think that article shows that actions can have unintended consequences. The IHA seems to have been making public statements about the "problems" caused by the Crown Prince and Princess for the Emperor and Empress without realising that it might be influencing public opinion in ways it didn't want to. Rather than putting public pressure on Naruhito to be a good boy and conform, all this bickering seems to have made the public question the whole system.

Somehow I don't see the IHA putting any real pressure (if any at all) on the Crown Prince and Princess to have a son. If the IHA is traditionalist like Prince Akishino but not Prince Naruhito, then it's to the IHA's great advantage for the succession to move to the younger brother and not down the Crown Prince's bloodline. That way, the Crown Prince can try to make all the reforms he wants to - the IHA knows it can just wait him out. And Prince Hisahito is being raised by his traditionalist father, not his reformist uncle.
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  #569  
Old 02-04-2009, 04:34 PM
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The IHA has miscalculated risks attached to public "flogging" of the Crown Princely couple. At the same time, the IHA is concerned with shrinking of the Imperial family. Princesses will marry commoners sooner or later because there are no Princes of blood or any other members of nobility available. Under current rules, these ladies will be no longer members of the Imperial family. With older generations gone and Princesses married, only Prince Hisahito and his family are left to represent Japan. Under such circumstances, it is required to change the law that would allow Princesses (Princess Aiko, Princess Kako, and Princess Mako) to remain in the family and carry official duties on behalf of the Imperial family.
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  #570  
Old 02-04-2009, 05:32 PM
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Well, in twenty years or so from now, maybe they will have to change some laws. We'll have to wait and see.
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  #571  
Old 02-04-2009, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by HRHofNothing View Post
There is a simple solution to this: Aiko gets to be Tenno and she marries Hasiato, who as consort will still have the same imperial bloodline that qualifies him to be emperor. Thus, when their first born suceeds to his MOTHER'S throne, the blood line will still not have been broken.
That would be a "perferct" solution, but... forcing Aiko to marry her first cousin in order to to succeed to the throne certainly would not please Japanese people (imagine someone telling you that you can be empress only if you have sex with your first cousin). It would in fact be the most disgusting action of IHA.
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  #572  
Old 02-04-2009, 07:23 PM
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I don't know as much as other folks who post here, but it seems to me that Aiko's father is going to be emperor at some point in the future.

As emperor, will he not have power over the IHA? I genuinely do not know if his position will allow for him to make changes in the IHA that ultimately could result in a change in succession.

I think we all - myself included - keep losing sight of the fact that between the existing emperor and the youngest generation is a Crown Prince who will most likely come to the throne and whatever powers it conveys in the next decade.
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  #573  
Old 02-04-2009, 07:59 PM
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He'll have some powers, but the IHA knows it can wait him out. And career bureaucrats are experts in the art of stalling. His dream of himself and Masako being a reformist imperial couple has already taken a hit because of the way her illness has marginalised her. His traditionalist brother, if he succeeds Naruhito, can undo all the reforms he manages to institute; if the brother doesn't succeed him, the chances are that the nephew, who's 40 years younger, will be so young when he succeeds that the IHA will run rings around him, and anyway he'll have been educated by his traditionalist father. The birth of Prince Hisahito coupled with the divisions in the family and the disappointment over Masako's health and effectiveness have pretty much rendered Naruhito irrelevant, IMO.

The only thing that might make a difference is if Naruhito has a long reign and the IHA has to face the reality of letting married princesses stay in the family during his reign rather than putting it off till the era of the Akishino family, thus meaning that Aiko will remain in the imperial family after she marries. That might mean that people will start asking how come she isn't her father's heir.
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  #574  
Old 02-05-2009, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
If the IHA is traditionalist like Prince Akishino but not Prince Naruhito, then it's to the IHA's great advantage for the succession to move to the younger brother and not down the Crown Prince's line. That way, the Crown Prince can try to make all the reforms he wants to - the IHA knows it can just wait him out. And Prince Hisahito is being raised by his traditionalist father, not his reformist uncle.
I would not call prince Akishino traditionalist. In order to be traditionalist he would need to have principles, traditionalist principles in that case. But I think that he has as much principles, traditionalist or reformist or whatever, as a cat: If he wants to marry before his elder brother – which is against tradition – he will be a mightily modern man. And if his favouring the male succession offers him the opportunity to attain a higher status for himself he will support the traditionalists with much zeal. But, in any case, it is always about what he wants and what is comfortable for him.

I agree in so far with you as I think that he will be easy to handle by the establishment. As long as his personal needs and wishes are well taken care of he will certainly not quarrel with them and will let them do whatever they think best. But if we called such a way of behaviour traditionalist we would, in my opinion, wrong those who really and truly support traditionalist or conservative values.

As for Hisahito, I would not yet despair - you never know. He would not be the first child in history to be raised by his parents with a clear idea about who he should become - and to turn out quite differently... The best example to demonstrate this would be his uncle Naruhito. He was raised in a very severe, rigid way, and, for a Japanese child, in extraordinary isolation. And, in fact, he became the proverbial good boy whom all Japanese mothers could set up as an example to their sons. But hardly did Naru-chan´s parents think that this paragon of obedience would one day be enabled by this very education to stubbornly endure their disapproval, without changing his mind, and to endure it for years… We know that the crown prince is pretty much isolated in his family and probably also among the executives who surround him. Of course, his wife supports him to the best of her ability but she has already succumbed in some measure to the pressure they are living under. But her husband still does not show any signs of breaking down soon. He stands nearly alone but he stands. In a society that is based to such a degree on team playing and conformism as the Japanese this is nearly a miracle. And I do think that the hard and isolated way in which the crown prince was raised is one of the ingredients that made this miracle come true. He has become used by his hard childhood to being on his own and to still finding means to survive somehow. Like the flower in the desert that has impressed him so much… Theme for the New Year's Poetry Reading,2009 (Other important ingredients are probably Naruhito´s strong sense of duty and his conviction of having a mission.)

Naruhito has grown up to show in some respects a completely different behaviour from what his parents had intended in raising him. Likewise, we cannot be sure yet what will become of little Hisahito – he might well surprise us all one day…

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Originally Posted by Furienna View Post
Well, in twenty years or so from now, maybe they will have to change some laws. We'll have to wait and see.
If they want to change the law so that the princesses can stay in the family when they marry and support the heir of the throne I am all for it. But that will make any sense only if they do it very soon: whoever will marry an imperial princess has to know - preferably before even courting her but certainly before the engagement takes place - if that means that he will have to stand for the rest of his life in the public limelight and visit foreign states or if he can basically go on with his life as he intended before he fell in love with Mako, Kako or Aiko, with only the nice addition of a luxurious flat in the centre of Tokyo. Mako is nearly grown up, so there is no time to be left.

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Originally Posted by NotAPretender View Post
As emperor, will he not have power over the IHA? I genuinely do not know if his position will allow for him to make changes in the IHA that ultimately could result in a change in succession.
Formally, it is the government and the parliament who have the power to change the succession law. We saw that before Kiko´s third pregnancy was announced, remember? There was a debate going on in the Japanese parliament about changing the law and making Aiko heiress after her father that was put off after the pregnancy had been made public.
So, even as the emperor Naruhito will not be able to directly change the rules of succession. He may be able to do something about it by informal influence but how much is probably impossible to guess.
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  #575  
Old 02-05-2009, 02:55 PM
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I would not call prince Akishino traditionalist. In order to be traditionalist he would need to have principles, traditionalist principles in that case. But I think that he has as much principles, traditionalist or reformist or whatever, as a cat: If he wants to marry before his elder brother – which is against tradition – he will be a mightily modern man. And if his favouring the male succession offers him the opportunity to attain a higher status for himself he will support the traditionalists with much zeal. But, in any case, it is always about what he wants and what is comfortable for him.
There was a Vanity Fair article that came out in 1993 shortly after the engagement of the Crown Prince. Akishino was called "fast hands" for his playboy reputation in college and before his marriage. He liked hitting the clubs like other men his age. I heard that Princess Kiko's father was very upset about his daughter's reputation and being involved with Akishino, and insisted they marry or cause a scandal. That was when it was decided that tradition be broken to allow Akishino to marry before his older brother.
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  #576  
Old 02-10-2009, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by EmpressRouge View Post
There was a Vanity Fair article that came out in 1993 shortly after the engagement of the Crown Prince. Akishino was called "fast hands" for his reputation in college and before his marriage. He liked hitting the clubs like other men his age. I heard that Princess Kiko's father was very upset about his daughter's reputation and being involved with Akishino, and insisted they marry or cause a scandal. That was when it was decided that tradition be broken to allow Akishino to marry before his older brother.
Now that you say it it seems to me that Elspeth has mentioned some of this story before. But I did not know the whole thing and where she had got it from. Thank you very much for telling it! I have to admit, though, that in my eyes this story does not make prince Akishino look any more traditionalist…
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  #577  
Old 09-01-2009, 12:00 AM
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So now that Japan is set to get a new Prime Minister does anyone know his views on the Succession law?
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  #578  
Old 06-27-2011, 01:59 PM
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I really hope they change the law someday.Do they really need to be dealing with that kind of stuff these days?
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  #579  
Old 07-07-2011, 05:53 PM
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Seeing their current situation I wonder why they arent changing the succession law like Sweden did and also they souls let princesses marry who they want and keep their titles otherwise the way they have it now they're running into problems in the future I.e. Lack of jp royal males
I guess they will start having to marry their cousins or worse their sisters in order to keep it within the bloodline
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  #580  
Old 07-08-2011, 01:44 AM
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Seeing their current situation I wonder why they arent changing the succession law ...
The succession laws and the constitution of Japan were written by the American occupation administration (SCAP) in 1947 in order to revert the Emperor Hirohito's monarchy into republic in peaceful way within one or two generations. The abolition of the monarchy was the main goal.
For more info see Occupation of Japan
The Japanese will have to change the constitution first.
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