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  #641  
Old 01-05-2012, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Charlotte1 View Post
...Where does the notion that Hisahito have to marry someone much younger than him come from.
From Japanese forums on Imperial family and Japanese media.
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...Princess Takamado was older than her husband...
Yes, the age difference was 18 months, not 5 years and 9 months (in Aiko and Hisahito's case).
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... A younger bride doesn't guarantee children.
Precisely, but the reinstalling the 11 (eleven) minor Imperial branches does.
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  #642  
Old 01-09-2012, 02:17 PM
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ChiaraC I think its a bit unfair of you to suggest that the Emperor's son is only talking about retirement just because he wants to be Emperor. Its clear that the Emperor and the Empresses health is fading. Historically didn't Emperors abdicate when they became of age? The idea that maybe at an advanced age someone else, the Emperor and the Empreses should be allowed to retire in peace and younger/more healthy members of the royal family take isn't ridiculous, by any means.

And as for Narhito one could argue that him stepping aside isn't only whats best for his family but also what is best for the nation. The Japanese need an Empress who can do the Empress's duties, it seems to me that Kiko is pretty much having to take over Masako's role. Not to mention the issue of Hisahito getting trained properly for his future role.

To be quite frank it should be Narahito who should be publically saying, I should be taking on more of a role because my Dad's health is failing.

I mean I'm sorry but his father just spent 19 days in the hospital and people want to say the guy is just being selfish. I think that's unfair. In fact he was mainly talking about potentially just a retirement system where a lot of things were left to the heir just in general.,
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  #643  
Old 01-10-2012, 06:43 PM
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Princess expresses hope for quick decision on Imperial lineage issue - The Mainichi Daily News
While it is up to the state (the government and the Diet) to decide whether to allow princesses to maintain their Imperial status after they marry a commoner, hopefully that decision will be made promptly, Princess Akiko of Mikasa told the Mainichi in an exclusive interview.
[...]
Princess Akiko also commented that she had been brought up with the assumption that she would become a commoner once she married, saying: "Since there's now a possibility that that assumption will be overthrown, I feel ill at ease." She added that with the increasing number of female Imperial Family members that are or soon will be adults, a possible change in lineage is an issue that will also affect the potential spouses of those women, and expressed hope that the issue is settled soon. Asked about her feelings toward the possibility that she may retain her Imperial status after marriage, Princes Akiko said: "I have no problems with continuing my public duties after marriage."
As for the future of the Imperial Family, Princess Akiko said it hinged upon "how citizens view the Imperial Family" and on "whether citizens want to keep (the Imperial system) in place."
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  #644  
Old 01-11-2012, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
ChiaraC I think its a bit unfair of you to suggest that the Emperor's son is only talking about retirement just because he wants to be Emperor. Its clear that the Emperor and the Empresses health is fading. Historically didn't Emperors abdicate when they became of age? The idea that maybe at an advanced age someone else, the Emperor and the Empreses should be allowed to retire in peace and younger/more healthy members of the royal family take isn't ridiculous, by any means.

And as for Narhito one could argue that him stepping aside isn't only whats best for his family but also what is best for the nation. The Japanese need an Empress who can do the Empress's duties, it seems to me that Kiko is pretty much having to take over Masako's role. Not to mention the issue of Hisahito getting trained properly for his future role.

To be quite frank it should be Narahito who should be publically saying, I should be taking on more of a role because my Dad's health is failing.

I mean I'm sorry but his father just spent 19 days in the hospital and people want to say the guy is just being selfish. I think that's unfair. In fact he was mainly talking about potentially just a retirement system where a lot of things were left to the heir just in general.,
I am not against giving the emperor the choice to abdicate. I have already said in the Akishino thread:
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People age differently. Some get Alzheimers at 60, others are still as lively as their grandchildren (or even more...) when they are 88. The emperor should have the possibility to abdicate if he wants to. (Although I doubt that he wants. Already some years ago, the crown prince said that he was indeed worried because of his father´s huge workload but that, according to his perception, the emperor cherished his imperial duties and would not take kindly to being "freed" of them.)
However, I am strictly against a law that would compel the emperor to step down at a certain age, if he wants it or not.
But even if I am fine with the emperor abdicating if he so chooses, I do not see the necessity for such a measure. From 1919 until his death in 1926, the Taisho emperor was unable to perform his official duties. Then-Crown Prince Hirohito stepped in and acted as Prince Regent. I do not know why this could not be done again, if necessary. I am serious when I say that imo Emperor Akihito would hate the very thought of abdication. Even if he were completely unable to take on any engagements (which he isn´t), I am sure that it would mean a lot to him to die being the emperor. As for reducing duties, there are no changes necessary to make this possible. In fact, it has already been done in the past.

But Akishino was talking about a set retirement age and it sounded very much like he was talking about a law that would not give the emperor a CHOICE to step down but would OBLIGE him to do it. Actually, otherwise it would not make any sense to speak about a certain age. If it were a choice it could be made completely independent of age. And I really do not see a single plausible reason for making this OBLIGATORY or talk of a set age if it is not because Akishino wants the throne himself. If you can give me one, I will certainly think about it.

Like mentioned above, the crown prince declared already years ago that he would be most happy to take on more duties from his father any time and alleviate his burden but that it was a bit of a problem because, as Naruhito said, the tenno cherished his duties very much. (I am very sorry if I should bore people because I think I have mentioned this fact like two or three times already in recent forum discussions, but obviously it is necessary to repeat it. More about this theme to be found in this blog.) It is to be expected that on his upcoming birthday conference, the crown prince will say something to this effect again. That Akishino made a comment while the crown prince said nothing was due to the simple fact that it was Akishino´s birthday. But I would be very surprised if Naruhito were as outspoken as his brother on political issues on this occasion. The crown prince knows his constitutional role - which is one of the reasons why I think the Japanese would be better off with him as the emperor.

I do not see what difference it makes for Hisahito being able to get trained in the optimal way for his future role if his uncle steps down or not. His training will probably anyway not include him watching the emperor performing his daily duties. And once this should become necessary (if at all) it does imo not make much of a difference if he watches his father, his uncle or his grandfather. I actually think that it is one of the advantages of him being the son of the younger brother that there are not constantly dozens of staff people around him, so he gets the chance to grow up in a way that is a tiny little bit closer to “normal”.

Concerning Masako, it is the eternal question what you think has really happened behind the scenes. There is no hard proof for either version. Without a doubt, her illness reduces her ability to make a good empress to a certain degree. But it is up to anybody´s guess if that illness is not constantly recreated by the circumstances she has to live under and if she would not be able to make a relatively fast recovery if those circumstances were changed. And the second point is who you think is responsible for the situation being as bad as it is. Look, I work with young children and it happens ever so often that one of the children shouts or shrieks so loudly that I have to say: “Please, a bit softer, else we will all get deaf.” I talk to this child because I think he or she should change his/her behaviour. But it also sometimes happens that a child shrieks or wails just as loudly, but I do NOT reprove him: another child has taken something away from him or has slapped him. In this case, I will naturally address the offender. I will NOT blame the victim for bothering everybody with his loud noise. I think – and that is just my opinion that some people share and some people do not - that Masako is the victim. That means I will not blame her for “making a noise”. According to all reports, she entered the imperial family reluctantly and from what I read it was not only the crown prince who promised her support. But he was the only one to keep this promise.

So, to my mind, the emperor and empress owe her one. They wanted her and now they have her, and they have no business to treat her like they do. WHY I think this way can be seen from many posts that I have made in this forum. It is not a single report that convinced me, it is my impression after reading and thinking about this matter for many years. This has to be so, because there are reports that most definitely support the “bad Masako”-theory while others back the version of “poor Masako”. Sure enough, all those articles come from people (if we are lucky from people who are close enough to watch) but in any case from people with an opinion of their own - which means that they will always present the facts in a certain light. I think it is sometimes obvious that information is being leaked to the press with a very clear intention. It is up to everybody to make their choice whom they believe and what they believe. Most recently, Mirabel asked whom I blame for the conflict in the family. My answer is to be found here. (Posts 233, 234, 235) It is too long to repeat it. But to fully explain why I interpret certain things this way and other things the other way, why I believe this part of a report and the other not, it is still way too short. But if you should want to know why I think what I think that is the best summary I can offer for the time being.

If you, in contrast, happen to believe that Masako is “making a noise” for no real reason, you are, of course, fully entitled to your opinion. I would only ask you to refrain from insinuating that my opinion is morally worse than yours (“unfair”). I am sure you would easily be able to imagine an argumentation that would allow me to accuse you of being unfair as well. But what could we gain by such a quarrel? If you should be interested to hear why I think in a certain way, I will be most happy to explain it. But if you simply feel that my opinion is too outrageous to be true, I suppose we will both be happier if we just silently agree to disagree.
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  #645  
Old 01-11-2012, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Grandduchess24 View Post
Such wonderful news but will their imperial blooded wives regain their former royal titles?
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Originally Posted by NGalitzine View Post
Would the Emperors daughters regain her title as an Imperial Princess or would this change only affect future princesses who marry.
It seems that there are no details as yet, that´s probably why they will first want to hear experts and discuss the matter before they decide anything. But I think it is safe to assume that former Princess Sayako will not get her status back. Although it is left to anybody´s guess if she misses making official trips abroad to serve as a goodwill ambassador for her country, I am rather sure that her husband has no regrets. He works at the government's General Affairs Division of the Urban Development Bureaus and supervises organizations funded by the city. He recently passed some very important promotion examination and will be working as a candidate for a managerial position for the next two years. If he does well he could be promoted to section chief level. I doubt that he would give that up in order to cut ribbons and attend formal meetings with foreign dignitaries at the imperial palace. Who would want to leave a successful career to become an imperial worker-bee who is only there for the duties but whose children have not even succession rights?

Of course, the Kurodas are childless anyway, but, generally speaking, I think this might indeed turn out to be a serious problem. If the princesses are to keep their imperial status in the future, they may rather lose some of their desirability as marriage partners as a consequence. Princess Masako has become famous for her reluctance to give up her career upon marriage. (Although a lot of people probably thought that this was not as bad as that, she got a husband and a position, so what more could a woman ask for? ) The male commoners who marry into the imperial family may well face the same problem. Except if they happen to be experts on molluscs or sea anemones or something of the sort (in which case they might adjust rather well into the family ) it is to be supposed that they will have to renounce their professional life, at least in the form they planned it before they fell in love with one of the princesses. Not everybody will be ready to do that. Of course, there are probably lots of people who do not have a professional career worth mentioning anyway because they lack the requisite abilities. But I suppose the IHA did not intend the palace to serve as some sort of shelter for people who are too incompetent to be accepted anywhere else. Tricky.

Incidentally, this may be the reason why Princess Akiko hopes “for a quick decision” in this matter. Perhaps there is already somebody in the background who would like to marry her, and now the gentleman – quite understandably – wants to know if he will be obliged to choose between his career and the woman he loves.
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  #646  
Old 01-11-2012, 01:48 PM
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Is there any reason why a husband would have to accompany his Imperial wife on daily official engagements and not continue with his day work. His official involvement could be limited to the odd official dinner and birthday/New Year celebrations.
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  #647  
Old 01-11-2012, 03:07 PM
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...He recently passed some very important promotion examination...
The exams took place in 2009, as it was informed here.
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Perhaps there is already somebody in the background who would like to marry her...
The young gentleman who is going to tie knot with Princess Akiko is 36 years old, he belongs to a former minor Imperial branch and is a professor at the university in Tokyo.
Thus the decision to reinstall the minor branches is a good solution.
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Is there any reason why a husband would have to accompany his Imperial wife on daily official engagements and not continue with his day work...
The Prince Mikasa has being continuing his scientific career in Middle East history research with great success, while performing his official duties during the Emperor Showa's reign.
I see no reason for male consort no to do the same nowadays.
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  #648  
Old 01-11-2012, 06:15 PM
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The Prince Mikasa has being continuing his scientific career in Middle East history research with great success, while performing his official duties during the Emperor Showa's reign.
Yes, and Emperor Akihito has established himself as a world authority on gobies. It has been said that there are probably not more than a dozen scientists in the world who can match his expertise regarding gobiid fishes. (Incidentally, there is a funny story about him and the empress when they were young. Shortly after they were engaged, Prince Akihito talked to his young bride about fish, using the precise binomial nomenclature, such as Tilapia mossambica. When the empress told the story, she commented: “I was astonished, slightly awed and overwhelmed.” I have no problem believing that. )

Seriously, that is what I meant when I said that experts on molluscs or sea anemones would probably adjust rather well into the family. Someone who is some sort of scientist, is probably on the safe side. So Princess Akiko is lucky if her husband-to-be teaches at a university. This could work. Still, for whatever reason the couple obviously wants to know in which way the law will be changed before they marry.

But former Princess Sayako´s husband is a good example of somebody who, in all likeliness, WOULD have to give up his job if he became part of the imperial family. The imperial family has to stay far from everything that would come remotely close to politics. Mr Kuroda works for the government, so I do not think that he could continue with what he does if he were an imperial consort. The husband of an imperial princess could not work in any field where he would have to “take sides”, so to speak, he could not be a lawyer, he could not go into politics, he could not work for a bank or for any big corporation. Maybe for the Red Cross or something like that, that means for an organization that could not be suspected of pursuing their interests at the cost of others, that is without a doubt above competition. But that excludes a great many fields in which talented and ambitious people are usually to be found. Maybe not all the princesses will want to marry professors?
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  #649  
Old 01-11-2012, 07:14 PM
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Concerning Masako, it is the eternal question what you think has really happened behind the scenes. There is no hard proof for either version. Without a doubt, her illness reduces her ability to make a good empress to a certain degree. But it is up to anybody´s guess if that illness is not constantly recreated by the circumstances she has to live under and if she would not be able to make a relatively fast recovery if those circumstances were changed.


At this stage, I really don't think it matters whether Masako is a victim or a malingerer.
For whatever reason, she is not going to fulfill her role as Empress (if she hasn't gotten better by now, she most likely isn't going to).

Either Naruhito must perform all duties by himself, or he should abdicate. I really do not see any other alternative.

I think it would be far better for Masako if he chose the latter; in private life she could adopt the lifestyle she wishes, without criticism.
But I think he will not do this because he is more concerned with his own status than with supporting his wife. By now he knows Masako cannot cope with royal life, at least not to any great extent. So just how is he supporting her?

I know many people view him as the epitome of a devoted husband, but I don't. I find him very selfish.
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  #650  
Old 01-11-2012, 07:42 PM
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But I think he will not do this because he is more concerned with his own status than with supporting his wife.
Concerned by a reality that is bigger than anything we commoners should ever face so I find it rather naive, myself, to suggest that this man is concerned by his own 'status' as opposed to the responsibility he has been raised to accept and bare.

How easy it is to cast stones (as a matter of speaking) when the implications of such a circumstance are not personally realised.

Quote:
So just how is he supporting her?
Ideological thought does not qualify the reality of a situation as it is motivated only by an indavidual's prejudice. Maintaining that he isn't supporting Masako the way he should, even though there is absolutely no proof to suggest he isn't, seems rather redundant to me.

Some challange a man's devotion and concern for his wife because he is resolved to perform the responsibilties bestowed upon him as heir and Crown Prince, yet it is that very devotion to his position that would suggest, I'd have thought, that here is a man most worthy of succeeding his father and Emperor in due course.

How that then can be perceived as selfish is beyond me.

All media surrounding Masako's illness suggests her husband is nothing short of supportive and protective of her, yet, for whatever reason some people don't wish to acknowledge it, let alone believe it to be true.
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  #651  
Old 01-11-2012, 08:24 PM
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But former Princess Sayako´s husband is a good example of somebody who, in all likeliness, WOULD have to give up his job if he became part of the imperial family. The imperial family has to stay far from everything that would come remotely close to politics. Mr Kuroda works for the government, so I do not think that he could continue with what he does if he were an imperial consort. The husband of an imperial princess could not work in any field where he would have to “take sides”,
Isn't the whole point of being a civil servant that you don't take sides. Governments come and go but the civil service stays in place. so I would think her husbands job would be ok if she resumed her Imperial status. Even today while she may no longer be a princess, he is still married to the Emperors daughter and he still has his job.
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  #652  
Old 01-12-2012, 02:09 AM
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...The husband of an imperial princess could not work in any field where he would have to “take sides”, so to speak, he could not be a lawyer, he could not go into politics, he could not work for a bank or for any big corporation...
The same for other royal families of the world. Sofie the Countess of Wessex is not working in her PR company, still she has happy marriage.
One has to think about his priorities, hasn't he? Passion doesn't last for long, and common goals and interests will help any marriage.
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...But that excludes a great many fields in which talented and ambitious people are usually to be found. Maybe not all the princesses will want to marry professors?
You mean someone, like Urdandarin? No, thank you.
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  #653  
Old 01-12-2012, 09:39 AM
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Concerned by a reality that is bigger than anything we commoners should ever face so I find it rather naive, myself, to suggest that this man is concerned by his own 'status' as opposed to the responsibility he has been raised to accept and bare.


Some challange a man's devotion and concern for his wife because he is resolved to perform the responsibilties bestowed upon him as heir and Crown Prince, yet it is that very devotion to his position that would suggest, I'd have thought, that here is a man most worthy of succeeding his father and Emperor in due course.

How that then can be perceived as selfish is beyond me.


What about his responsibility towards his family?

Granted, he did not expect things to turn out as they have. He probably thought his wife could adjust. But he insisted she marry him, despite her misgivings.
It seems to me that now he owes her and should consider what will make her happy (or at least, what will make her well). Instead he lets things drag on and leaves her miserable.

There's Aiko, too. The problems at school have convinced me that there is something very wrong there; I don't see how this little girl could not be deeply affected by her mother's misery.

It's true that Naruhito has been raised to succeed his father, but it's not like he's the only person in the world who could do so. (His brother is practically straining at the bit to take over, imo.) So let him, and let Naruhito focus on his family.

JMO, and I don't intend any offense. Perhaps I should not comment at all, since I probably am not qualified to see things from the Japanese perspective.
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  #654  
Old 01-12-2012, 01:57 PM
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Isn't the whole point of being a civil servant that you don't take sides. Governments come and go but the civil service stays in place. so I would think her husbands job would be ok if she resumed her Imperial status. Even today while she may no longer be a princess, he is still married to the Emperors daughter and he still has his job.
There is no problem in that Mr Kuroda is married to “the Emperor´s daughter”. She is now a plain Mrs Kuroda, a commoner with the freedom and all the rights of a commoner. I am not saying this marriage is not helping his career. I would not be surprised if it were. But, technically, he is a commoner married to a commoner. Period. Difficulties would arise once she would get back her status or if he would get it, too, because for members of the imperial family, the rules are different. (From a Western point of view, it may be hard to understand, but, currently, Mrs Kuroda is not a member of the imperial family.) I would still suppose that working for the government would not be acceptable for an imperial family member.

Of course, there are no precedents for these cases as yet, so it is imo impossible to be absolutely sure of anything. Maybe things will be changed a bit, for the sake of accommodating male commoners into the family. But you have to be aware that, concerning involvement in politics, there is a notable difference between, for example, the British and the Japanese monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II, although she will not meddle with daily politics, is head of state and has the right to be consulted, to encourage and to warn. Emperor Akihito is not head of state and he has no such rights. He as well as the imperial family members have to abstain from commenting on politics to a degree that would be unimaginable in Britain. Unlike European royals, who have their own interests and pursuits, Japan’s royals have no say over their calendars. “They don’t get to choose where they go or what they do,” a former member of the IHA explained. “They could never be allowed to favor one charity over another.” It is deemed important that the imperial family do not have opinions: “They cannot say they like apples, because if they did, what would the orange growers say?” Accordingly, Japanese royals are, as taxi driver Koji Ono expresses it, “just decoration, like whipped cream on a cake.”

On one hand, there are excellent historical reasons for this. Although historians are still discussing the issue, there is reason to believe that the father of the present emperor bore considerable responsibility for the Pacific War while it is quite some time since a British monarch was in a position to wield power that could be compared to that of the late Showa emperor (Hirohito).

On the other hand, I do think that this might be a problem for members of the imperial family in general and, especially, for commoners who enter the family. Also for a woman it does not go without saying nowadays that all she asks for is having a family, but I suppose it is safe to say that men tend to expect even more to be able to have an impact on whatever they become a part of. I do not suppose that it would be many men´s life goal to serve as “whipped cream on a cake”, and that is where I see the problem. There might individual solutions be found for this dilemma but that would not change the fact that the general conflict remains.

I am afraid that the situation may not get better for the fact that there are no plans as yet to give succession rights to the family branches headed by females. Perhaps you have heard about Prince Philip´s “bloody amoeba”-outburst. (“I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his children. I’m nothing but a bloody amoeba.”) The British prince consort was obviously deeply hurt because he was apparently only needed because of the “biological contribution” (so to speak) he was able to make. I ask myself if, in Japan, commoners who turn princes (and who would naturally have to give up their family lineage) would not think it degrading that they are basically needed to produce “worker-bee” children who do not even have succession rights but whose sole reason of existence is to take on the imperial duties that are too much for the “first-class”-members of the family.
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Old 01-12-2012, 02:45 PM
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^^^^^
Well the Emperor may be above politics but he is still as far as I know the Head of State.
As for Mr Kuroda, is he not a civil servant? Is the civil service in japan different than it is in most western nations? In the UK at least the civil service stays while governments come and go. As such they too are in a way above politics, they merely enforce the laws and regulations that are in force at any given time. Surely being a civil servant and being married to an Imperial Princess would not be bringing politics into the family.
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Old 01-12-2012, 03:21 PM
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I suppose it is complicated but as far as I know the emperor is nowhere in the Japanese constitution named as head of state but merely as symbol of the state although in many respects he acts as head of state. See for example here and here (“Unlike royalty in other countries, the emperor of Japan is not even the nominal head of state.”)

Considering positions in the civil service, one has to consider imo that just because they usually stay while the government changes, they wield a certain power. For example, I have read somewhere that the new (well, o. k., relatively new) DPJ-government had difficulties to get their measures implemented because it is allegedly “not in the gene´s” of Japan´s bureaucrats to work with any party other than the LDP (that ruled Japan for more than 50 years). I do not know if it is true but I think I get the idea. It is a nice concept that people with “merely” administrative functions should be politically neutral, but I´d assume that we are all aware that this is not always the case. It might be risky for an imperial family member to work there because there could be rumours created about cases of clientelism and patronage. I´d really think they´d prefer to stay out of that. (But we will probably live to see what happens, anyway.)
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Old 01-12-2012, 03:48 PM
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If the Emperor is not Head of State who is? The Prime Minister would be Head of Government.
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  #658  
Old 01-12-2012, 04:02 PM
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If the Emperor is not Head of State who is? The Prime Minister would be Head of Government.
ChiaraC is mistaking. The Emperor has dual role as "head of a religion and head of the Imperial family with the functions of head of state".
Source in Japanese
Thus, he is the Head of State de-facto.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:04 PM
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Thanks, thats what I thought.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by NGalitzine View Post
If the Emperor is not Head of State who is? The Prime Minister would be Head of Government.
Japan does not have an official head of state. And this rather puzzling fact leads to people sometimes calling the emperor head of state and sometimes even the prime minister (see here). The best explanation I know for that is to be found here:
Quote:
Japan does not have an official head of state [...] The reason has to do with the burden of history, the painful spirits of World War II that Japan has not yet exorcised. […]

Normally in a parliamentary system the head of state is the king or queen. But in Japan, where the victorious Allies allowed Emperor Hirohito to retain a nominal role 50 years ago only after having talked about hanging him as a war criminal, it is more complicated. The Emperor was demoted at the end of the war from a "living god" to a mere "symbol of the state" under the Constitution approved by the occupiers, and the Government is afraid that it would seem provocative now to declare him the head of state.

So ask a few Japanese Government officials if the Emperor is head of state and watch them tie themselves in knots. "Well, we don't really have a head of state, I guess," explained one. "I mean, there's the Emperor, of course, but there's no head of state." […] "When we need a head of state, then we bring the Emperor out," explained another. "So he's head of state when we need a host for a state visit. But he's not really head of state."
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