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  #661  
Old 01-12-2012, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Mirabel View Post
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.
I don't see how anyone on this forum could be in a position to question his responsibility to his family just because the dynamic of the situation is not understood personally.

There is no evidence to suggest the Crown Prince neglects his responsibilities as a husband and father and because his wife is unwell and his daughter has had various issues at school does not qualify that assumption. Many children have issues at school and their parents aren't a prospective Emperor and Empress. I'm not saying it's at all entirely unrelated, but the fact of the matter is we do not know.

It's easy to pin point Masako's illness and her fathers "selfishness" as the reason but quite truthfully, that is not public knowledge and to use it as an example to support an argument is premature. Thus it can't be used as a credible argument in support of the Crown Prince abdicating his responsibilities.
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  #662  
Old 01-12-2012, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ChiaraC View Post
...
The Emperor (天皇) is Head of State de-facto.
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  #663  
Old 01-16-2012, 03:53 PM
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The Emperor (天皇) is Head of State de-facto.
But not de jure. Which has been the whole point of the discussion.
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  #664  
Old 01-17-2012, 01:11 AM
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...Which has been the whole point of the discussion.
I doubt you have understood the point of this thread, if you please. We are discussing the succession issues, and not the scolastics.
The newly appointed Cabinet of Ministers is being discussing a new project of amendments to the 1947 Constitution of Japan.
The returning of the designation 'Army of Japan' and 'Japanese Navy' instead of current 'Self-Defence Forces of Japan' and the full recognition of the Emperor as 'Head of State' are some of the amendments.
The amendments are due to be approved by DIET this year.
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  #665  
Old 01-17-2012, 01:16 AM
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And then there was one?: Japan's right royal crisis | The Japan Times Online
According to the Japanese Constitution, the Emperor is the symbol of the Japanese state and the unity of the Japanese people. You could thus say it is symbolic that the Imperial household is now facing an unprecedented demographic crisis, one that may ultimately lead to a succession dilemma and possibly even a constitutional quandary. While the recent hospitalization of 78-year-old Emperor Akihito due to illness has probably made more people think about succession, a more urgent cause of official concern may lie elsewhere: marriage.
[...]
Before the war the Imperial House Act — the rules of the Imperial household — was ostensibly prepared by the Emperor himself and was thus coequal with the Meiji Constitution, meaning it was not subject to interference by Diet legislation. This is why the current Constitution specifically refers to the Act, clearly subordinating both it and the Emperor to representative democracy. It is a law which thus carries a lot of historical baggage that may render amending it far more politically controversial than might otherwise be apparent. Second, although a law that only allows for male emperors may seem terribly traditional, it is actually a modern innovation. Japan has had a small number of female emperors, the most recent being the Empress Go-Sakuramachi, who reigned from 1762 to 1770. However, all of Japan's empresses were effectively placeholders, unmarried or widowed Imperials with no children of their own eligible to succeed to the throne. At the end of their reigns, the next emperors were drawn from male members from different branches of a much larger Imperial tree. The real issue facing the Japanese government today, therefore, is not whether a woman can be emperor (for which there is a historical precedent), but whether the Imperial lineage can be continued through the children of a female emperor (for which there is not).
[...]
The Emperor himself is reported to be in favor of changes that would at least allow for princesses to retain their Imperial status after marriage. However, he cannot openly advocate anything without violating the constitutional prohibition on his involvement in government. Furthermore, Princess Masako is rumored to be opposed to reform, possibly because she may want her daughter, Princess Aiko, to someday leave the Imperial family, an institution that by most accounts has made her miserable.
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  #666  
Old 01-18-2012, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Kasumi View Post
I doubt you have understood the point of this thread ...
As far as I am concerned, you are most welcome to doubt or believe whatever makes you happy.
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  #667  
Old 01-18-2012, 11:55 AM
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First, Mirabel, let me apologize for always lacking behind. I do it (and will continue to do it) because if I comment at all I usually want to give at least some of the reasons for my opinion. That leads to my posts being rather long ones which means that it takes time to write them and also, depending on the case, to find the sources I want to include. Of course, some people will simply ignore even sources when they do not happen to back what they prefer to think. But, judging from my own taste, I like to have sources because so I can see where people come from and get the chance to check “first-hand” if the source sounds credible to me. Of course, that does not mean that any source would be some sort of holy writ but, basically, I try to give what I like to have myself.

I would like to add that this does not mean – of course not! - that I am asking for sources when we are talking about mere opinions which is inevitably rather often the case in this forum and also in my following post. It is only in cases when we are talking about facts that are more or less known.
But I am not only talking about my present post here, I just wanted to say, once and for all: Never be surprised if I answer three weeks too late.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirabel View Post
At this stage, I really don't think it matters whether Masako is a victim or a malingerer.
I am familiar with this line of argumentation and that is exactly why I have taken the “little children” example. (See my post 647 in this thread.)

Suppose for a moment, you come to a school as the new headmaster and you find out that in this school, no rules are applied to, except: the stronger one wins. The older and bolder and stronger constantly bully the smaller and weaker ones who, accordingly, are much too frightened and intimidated to concentrate on their learning, so their knowledge is way below average. I assume that we all agree that in such a situation we, as the new headmaster, would not have the weak learners leave the school because they are “unable to adjust”. We would say: “Now we all are going to get a new set of rules and to learn about fairness and team-play.” Maybe two or three years after we have changed the school rules, there are some of the bullied ones who in spite of the warm and reassuring environment they are now learning in, still cannot get over their past experiences and cannot get to a level where they would be able to adequately respond to the challenges that they should, according to their age. You will probably do everything to get them help, but maybe at one point you will have to say that they will have to leave the school because they cannot make it and because it is a useless torture for them. You will admit that it is not fair because without that early bad experience they might have done very well, but you know that there is not anything you can do.

O.k., but what if you find out that in the class of one of your “incurables” the bullying is still going on, without you having been aware? I suppose you would not send this “incurable” away, too. I suppose you would think that he deserves a fair chance to see if, in a healthy environment, he can recover if he is given some time. You would be aware that although a lot of time has passed already since you changed the rules, for this one child it has not been time without bullying.

So, yes, it does make a difference if Masako is a victim or not. Imo, for her, the bullying is still going on and she deserves to be given a chance to recover in a healthy environment. Mobbing is nothing anybody can adjust to. That is basically also what her doctors have said. How can she be expected to recover if she is still in an environment where she is being harassed relentlessly?

Mobbing is defined as
Quote:
...an emotional assault. It begins when an individual becomes the target of disrespectful and harmful behavior. Through innuendo, rumors, and public discrediting, a hostile environment is created [...]
mobbing victims are usually "exceptional individuals who demonstrated intelligence, competence, creativity, integrity, accomplishment and dedication".
Victims of mobbing use to suffer from:
Quote:
adjustment disorders, somatic symptoms (e.g., headaches or irritable bowel syndrome), psychological trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression [my bold]
(Source)

We may not agree in that the princess is being mobbed. But I am not convinced that it would not make a difference to you if she were. When you say that Masako “cannot cope with royal life“, you clearly do not see her as a victim. You do not describe her as guilty either, but definitely as somewhat deficient.

However, I would answer to that: Princess Masako cannot cope with being mobbed, agreed, but there is probably nobody in the whole wide world who could do that if it lasts that long. And it remains to be seen if in an environment that she (or her husband) have more control over she would not make a recovery. Maybe yes, maybe no. But imo she deserves a chance. Royal life as an empress may be much different from what royal life as a crown princess is for her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirabel View Post
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.
Concerning Naruhito, we again have to make an assumption in order to be able to decide if you are right in your judgment. You assume that Masako would be happier if she could live in private, without imperial duties. If you were right, I might agree with you in that Naruhito is being selfish. But as it happens I do not share this assumption of yours. I do not think that Masako wants to retire or to live abroad. The young Masako has been described as someone who loved her work and who wanted to serve her country, even more so maybe because she had to pass a long time abroad during her infancy and youth, and even if the life which she could have led abroad, in the US, for example, might have been much easier. She never seemed to be very fond of parties or holidaying - which is, incidentally, the reason why I have never believed the “ritzy-dinings”-articles about her. There is nothing wrong with loving parties or holidays, nor with the contrary, it is just a question of temperament. But I, for one, happen to not be overly fond of parties, too, and I do not think that you ever get over that. For me, parties are not a temptation and will never be one. To my taste, they are way too crowded. I prefer to see ONE friend or maybe three or four. I do not have fun in getting drunk, and you would have to pay me if you wanted me to stay up the whole night. I might do this for duty, but most certainly NOT for fun.

So, judging from who she was, I would suppose that Masako does not want to retire to a country cabin. I think that she wants to do what she is doing: stay where she is and fight it through. Maybe she will win, maybe not. I doubt though that she would be grateful to her husband if he forced her to give up “for her own good”. Imo, that is the very reason why they are such a success as a couple. They have a vision together, and they would give their lives to realize it. In fact, that is exactly what they are doing. If it will be sufficient, time will tell.
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  #668  
Old 01-18-2012, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Mirabel View Post
...Perhaps I should not comment at all, since I probably am not qualified to see things from the Japanese perspective.
Why should you refrain from commenting? If nobody would be allowed to ever have an opinion on matters royal except the people whose monarchy it is, this forum would be a pretty dreary place to be... Besides, there seem to be lots of US-Americans here around who would never get a chance to comment on ANY royals if this rule were applied to. Do not you think that would be a bit cruel?

Imo, we hurt nobody by our discussions. (Nobody who is in a position to decide about things would heed our opinions anyway... )
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  #669  
Old 01-19-2012, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Lenora View Post
I've read that Japanese rules of succession that prohibited females to the throne appeared at the end of the XIX century.Taking into account that CP Naruhito and Masako got married in 1993,I wonder why the rules had not been changed after their wedding.
...
I am aware that it is already some months since you asked that, Lenora. In fact, I have already made an attempt to answer the question several months ago, but it is a tricky issue. It is impossible to cover all aspects of it because that would be a book, but finally I have managed to address all points that I think are the main ones and written this article.

You will find there the story of Koizumi´s first attempt to change the succession law. You will find the reasons why some Japanese are very much in favour of changing the law and why some are vehemently opposed. In order to explain that, I had to take a look back in history and give some information about Japan´s eight reigning empresses and also about the tenno´s role as high priest of Shinto. In addition, there seem to be present-day political reasons for the attitudes of the defenders as well as of the opponents of an amendment of the law, I have addressed that, too. Finally, I have summarized the latest news in the matter (the plans to let female members of the imperial family maintain their status and create new family branches).
Have fun!

If there should be any questions, feel free to ask me, but please be patient. I am not every day here around and even if I am, I may not have time to answer directly. But I will get back to you.
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  #670  
Old 01-19-2012, 06:50 PM
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Thank you for your explanations, ChiaraC!
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  #671  
Old 01-20-2012, 11:15 AM
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You are very welcome, Lenora!

Here is another article about the upcoming changes of the Imperial House Law at Japanrealtime. It is rather short, but contains one interesting piece of information:
Quote:
Former Supreme Court Justice Itsuo Sonobe, who sat on the 2005 government council that reviewed whether women could ascend the throne, will lead the February hearings.
The fact that someone who had already taken part in the first attempt to reform the succession law is employed again might indicate that the upcoming reform will take a similar direction (although it will, in all likeliness, not go that far).

(In late 2004, a 10-member advisory council was set up to advise Prime Minister Koizumi on revising the Imperial House Law. In November 2005, it produced a report recommending that female emperors and their descendants be allowed to ascend the throne, and the emperor’s eldest child, regardless of sex, should be given “priority as the imperial heir.” It also recommended that imperial princesses who marry commoners would not have to leave the imperial family and become commoners. Instead, princesses should remain in the imperial family and their husbands join it and become imperial princes.)

See also this Asahi article.
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  #672  
Old 01-26-2012, 03:38 PM
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A Kyodo News poll, conducted on Jan. 7 and 8, 2012, showed 65.5 percent of the Japanese support the idea of allowing female members of the Imperial family to create their own branches of the family and to retain their Imperial status after marriage. The telephone survey drew valid responses from 1,016 eligible voters in 1,459 households randomly dialed across Japan, apart from parts of Fukushima Prefecture evacuated by the nuclear crisis. Japan Times article
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  #673  
Old 01-26-2012, 04:12 PM
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Thanks, Chiara for your interesting explanations.

What is the procedure for changing the law?

A referendum? Or can the Parliament do it?

What are the primary arguments against allowing girls to become the ruling empress?
Tradition? Cultural? No need to? Gender egality is great - except when about the Imperial family? A case of nothing should be done for the first time? Religious? - And so on..
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  #674  
Old 01-26-2012, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
...What is the procedure for changing the law?
A referendum? Or can the Parliament do it?
DIET makes it.
Quote:
What are the primary arguments against allowing girls to become the ruling empress?
Tradition? Cultural? No need to? Gender egality is great - except when about the Imperial family? A case of nothing should be done for the first time? Religious? - ...

The majority of Japanese agree with female reigning monarch. However they don't agree with the female line succession.
See posts #602, #618 and #639.
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  #675  
Old 01-26-2012, 05:42 PM
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I see.
Thanks, Kasumi.

Okay, with a DIET, that IMO is very conservative and a public opinion that is not a favour of a female bloodline,( or perhaps not that interested in the issue?) there is very little chance we will see a female ruling empress within the next couple of generations?

However should the public mood change (it'll have to happen within the next ten years or so as I see it), how much can the public opinion and as a consequence the Parliament influence the DIET?
Is it unthinkable that the Emeperor (Naruhito) would raise the issue more or less publicly?
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  #676  
Old 01-26-2012, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Muhler View Post

Thanks, Chiara for your interesting explanations.

What is the procedure for changing the law?

A referendum? Or can the Parliament do it?

What are the primary arguments against allowing girls to become the ruling empress?
Tradition? Cultural? No need to? Gender egality is great - except when about the Imperial family? A case of nothing should be done for the first time? Religious? - And so on..
Hi, Muhler! Nice to see you in this forum. May I refer you for your questions to this article: "No Empress for Japan?" ?

Summarizing the points that answer your question, you will find there the story of then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi´s first attempt to change the succession law (2004-2006). He set up a panel of experts to find solutions for the succession crisis. It produced a report recommending that female emperors and their descendants be allowed to ascend the throne, and the emperor’s eldest child, regardless of sex, should be given “priority as the imperial heir.” It also recommended that imperial princesses who marry commoners would not have to leave the imperial family and become commoners. Instead, princesses should remain in the imperial family and their husbands join it and become imperial princes. There was huge public support for these plans and Koizumi declared his resolution to submit a bill to open the way for female monarchs. A small, powerful minority strongly opposed it, among them important members of Koizumi´s own party, the LDP. Still, in the beginning of 2006, it looked as if „this could be Koizumi's easiest reform to push through“. Only when it became known, in February of the same year, that Princess Kiko was six weeks pregnant, the plans were shelved, although polls conducted even after Hisahito´s birth showed that the Japanese public backed the idea of a female monarch.

Whatever you do, do not believe that there is but one opinion on this issue in Japan. There are ultraconservatives who are so afraid of a female line that they oppose the plans to allow princesses to maintain their status and to create their own family branches, even if nobody has mentioned any plans of changing the succession (as is the case at present). They use to strongly emphasize the difference between an empress regnant (for which there are precedents in Japanese history) and a female line (for which there is none), and they often complain that when the majority of Japanese opts for a reigning empress, they are simply not aware that they may be giving away a very precious heritage. Well, I´d say, maybe they are not aware, but maybe they simply do not care that much...
Nationalists tend to claim that theirs is the true Japanese view and that everybody else is too Westernized to be competent in this matter. But there are also Japanese who strongly disagree with continuing the male-only succession. See for example the story of Kochi University assistant professor Kentaro Sano whose students once decided to hold a debate over the question: Should Japan be ready to embrace a female emperor?
Quote:
The debate never got off the ground.
"Nobody wanted to take on the role of arguing against the idea of females and their descendants ascending," said Sano, who uses debate as an educational tool. "Whenever somebody tried to present an argument to oppose a female emperor by citing such reasons as tradition and capability, it got rejected for being too demeaning to women."
See also the comment of a TRF member:
Quote:
Most people in Japan either didn't give a hoots about Aiko inheriting the throne or were for it. I'm a quarter Japanese and trust me, they aren't as patriarchal as you think. Especially the younger generation, women are a lot more independent now and it's common for them to be in the workplace. Besides it's all about modernization and gender equality. People no longer serve monarchies, but monarchies serve people. What purpose do they have if they don't change to reflect their country?
If you are interested in the reasonings of the two opposing groups, you will find them in the article I have mentioned. One of the reasons why I have written it, is that things are here not necessarily what they seem and are much more complex than you would guess at first sight or most people would ever care to tell you. Those who advocate a reigning empress and a female line openly admit that they have social and political motives (details in „An empress to symbolize social changes in Japan?“). Those who oppose plead reasons concerning tradition, history („Male line of succession unbroken for more than a thousand years “) and religion („The tenno´s role as high priest of Shinto“). However, it is imo obvious that they, too, have a political agenda of their own („Hidden political agenda of traditionalists?“).

I am sorry but I cannot explain it in a shorter way than I have done it in the article, without omitting important circumstances and creating even more confusion thereby. That is why I´d like to refer you to the link I have posted above ("No Empress for Japan?"). If anything I have written there should not be quite clear or if you have more questions, please feel always free to ask.

Incidentally, during the first debate concerning the succession law, it was expressly said that the imperial family would not be asked to give their opinion on the matter as the imperial family has to remain strictly neutral concerning politics. This is also why Prince Akishino´s request (on his last press conference) that his or his brother´s opinion on the matter should be listened to raised some surprise. (It is to be supposed that Emperor Akihito as well as his father have/had some influence in political matters if they thought it important but NEVER officially, since the end of the war, that is.)

Ah, and one more thing, the present Diet is not at all conservative, for Japanese standards. When they were still the opposition party, the presently ruling DPJ openly said they were in favour of letting women ascend. That they do not act on it, is due to the fact that Japan is a very consent-based society (save their extreme Right who do not seem consent-based at all... ) For more on the present government and why they do not go ahead with the change, see please "The succession law: the elephant in the room of Japanese politics", on the second page of the linked article.
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  #677  
Old 01-26-2012, 07:04 PM
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I love the complexity in that article! Many fine points in it, ChiaraC. Very informative.
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  #678  
Old 01-26-2012, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ChiaraC
A Kyodo News poll, conducted on Jan. 7 and 8, 2012, showed 65.5 percent of the Japanese support the idea of allowing female members of the Imperial family to create their own branches of the family and to retain their Imperial status after marriage. The telephone survey drew valid responses from 1,016 eligible voters in 1,459 households randomly dialed across Japan, apart from parts of Fukushima Prefecture evacuated by the nuclear crisis. Japan Times article
And the people of japan have spoken and I find it wonderful so maybe there will be an empress aiko in the future.
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  #679  
Old 01-27-2012, 04:32 AM
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Thank you ChiaraC For a really great explanation.
Early forenoon, and I'e already learned something new.

Instersting survey, Grandduchess24, however....
If you dial a number of random households on any given day, throughout the day, who is more likely to answer, a woman or a man?
So I wonder if the survey is influenced by gender?

To put in the extreme; If you make a survey with the question: Should cannabis be legal? And ask 1.500 randomly selected people in and around Woodstock during the festival, you may end up with an interesting result!

So perhaps that survey is slightly biased, since women may be more inclined towards a female ruling empress.
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:53 AM
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I agree with you Muhler, polls done during the middle of the day by calling random homes are often flawed for the reason you stated, BUT...
would you also agree that (perhaps in Japan like some Western countries) the women and other participants answering would also be classified as an older age group? It's possible that most of the participants were at least 65 and thus would be perhaps more traditional than a younger age group.

So I do think it is significant that the poll showed 65% accepting a change
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