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  #861  
Old 01-01-2013, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ChiaraC View Post
However, nobody ever cares to mention that, if former royals should get their status back, i. e. if commoners should become imperial princes, this would also be absolutely unprecedented in the history of the Japanese monarchy. People used to the standards of the European monarchies (that features rulers like William the Conqueror or Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte) may be unaware of this and may feel that it would be sort of a normal and unspectacular thing to give higher rank to certain individuals, if need be. But in Japan´s history, not even a noble ever got to hold the rank of imperial prince (and what is more: not even a noble with imperial ancestors - of which there were quite a few - got to hold the rank of imperial prince). The way "downwards" was possible, but never "upwards". Once you were "out", you were out for good, so to speak.
That means that this whole matter is not about if tradition should be broken but just in which way.
Not quite so. There were precedences of returning to imperial status, although very rare. The most famous example should be Prince Sadami, third son of Emperor Koko. Emperor Koko demoted Prince Sadami from imperial status by granting him the Minamoto surname. Although, later the Emperor reinstalled Minamoto-no-Sadami as a prince. Later Prince Sadami became Emperor Uda.
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  #862  
Old 02-02-2013, 07:54 AM
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Thank you for reminding us of this story! I was not aware of it and had to look it up first. But while it undoubtedly is a case in which, technically, a return to imperial status did take place, it does not seem to offer a very helpful precedent in the present situation. It is true that Prince Sadami was demoted from imperial status - but not because the succession was already ensured by one or several brothers of his or because his mother would have been inferior in rank (in fact, she was an imperial princess, a granddaughter of Emperor Kammu) but because the powerful grand minister Fujiwara no Mototsune who had helped Prince Sadami´s father, Emperor Kōkō, ascend the throne, did not wish Kōkō´s descendants to have any succession rights. Mototsune originally intended, after Kōkō, to put one of the princes on the throne who were more closely related to himself but who he had temporarily bypassed because of their youth. So, according to Mototsune´s wishes, all of Kōkō´s children were demoted of their imperial status, and none was left in line to the throne. (Sugawara No Michizane and the Early Heian Court, The Chrysanthemum Throne: A History of the Emperors of Japan )

However, as things turned out, Emperor Kōkō died after reigning but three years, and, obviously, that led to a change in Mototsune´s plans. It is interesting, though, that Prince Sadami who was then allowed to succeed his father as Emperor Uda was adopted by a half-sister of Mototsune and, after his ascension, used to remark that he felt that he „had absolutely none of the abilities of a sage ruler“ and that he explicitly asked Mototsune „to handle all state affairs“. (The Future and the Past:A Translation and Study of the Gukanshō, an Interpretative History of Japan Written in 1219)

So, in my opinion, we have two relevant aspects here: 1) the case of Prince Sadami/Emperor Uda belongs to a time when there was no established rule of succession but emperors were installed, in a rather random way, to serve the purposes of the holders of the real power (in that case, of the Fujiwara clan), 2) although it is true that Prince Sadami was demoted from imperial rank and later reinstalled as imperial prince, he was actually the grandson of Emperor Nimmyo and the son of the later Emperor Kōkō.

In both points, the difference to the present situation with the former collateral branches cannot be overlooked, in my opinion: 1) today, the line of succession is strictly codified, following clearly defined rules. It would be unthinkable that a Japanese politician, however powerful (or power-hungry) he might be, would or could willfully choose a successor to the throne. 2) The collateral branches are descended from a fourteenth-century emperor which means that they are but very remotely related to the present imperial family, in the male line. I, for one, believe that this whole matter would look quite differently, if there were still descendants of a brother of Emperor Taishō (1879 – 1926) or of Emperor Meiji (1852 – 1912) among them, so that even the average Japanese would be able to understand how a potential successor from the disenfranchised branches would be related to Emperor Akihito. Unfortunately, neither the Taishō nor the Meiji emperor had any surviving brothers. Accordingly, it would actually take a specialized historian to clearly explain in which way the members of the collateral branches are connected to the present imperial family. The huge majority among them were born as commoners, and many even already as children of born commoners, very much unlike Prince Sadami who, like I said, was the son and grandson of emperors.
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  #863  
Old 02-02-2013, 08:09 AM
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Abe administration must push forth with debate on female Imperial branch households
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In October last year, the administration of then Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda released a report on the pros and cons of establishing female Imperial branch families in light of decreasing numbers of Imperial Household members. The government also subsequently called for the public's input on the report, but it remains unclear how the new government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which took over in December, will handle the issue.

Abe is known as being wary of allowing women from the Imperial family to keep their Imperial status after marrying commoners, due to his opposition to allowing matrilineal Emperors. As such, some say that discussion of female Imperial Family branches will be stalled or postponed.
Is it acceptable, however, for an issue that has been deliberated for a year, and on which comments from the public have been gathered, to be shelved or suspended so easily? A look at the Imperial Household's current situation would say otherwise. The debate must go on. [...]

The task force called on the public for their comments for the next two months and received over 260,000 messages via email and mail. While some agreed to the establishment of female Imperial branch households as "a natural development," the majority of the comments received were opposed. Many called on the government to consider reinstating the Imperial status of former Imperial Household members. Many of the anti-revision comments appear to have been sent in by organizations, however, as they used several fixed texts, so there is a need to evaluate not only the number of comments, but their content. [...]

What do Imperial Family members, who are directly affected by whatever decisions the government makes, think about this uncertain state of affairs?

In an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun that appeared Jan. 7, 2012, 31-year-old Princess Akiko of Mikasa made it clear that she was hoping for a speedy conclusion, whether it be the preservation of the current Imperial House Law, or a revision. "I am in a state of unease," she said. "It is an issue that will also have an effect on my future spouse."

At a press conference on his birthday in November last year, Prince Akishino said that he had been informed about expert opinions on the matter and had talked about the issue with his daughters, Princess Mako, 21, and Princess Kako, 18. "I've spoken about this with my daughters, and I've told them about the current situation, so I think they understand," he said, without expressing his own views or going into specifics about what he and his daughters discussed.

For the unmarried women of the Imperial Family, the issue of female Imperial Household branches is one that directly affects their future and one in which they have no say. Princess Akiko's wish for a speedy conclusion to the debate is easily understandable.

Whether one supports the preservation of patrilineal Imperial Households, or the recognition of female heads of Imperial branch families, one thing is clear: the system under the current Imperial House Law is problematic. To consider the future of the Imperial Household is to think about the structure of Japan as a country. Let's hope that the Abe administration makes use of the Noda administration's report and public comments on the female Imperial branch family issue, and clear the path toward resolution. ("As I See It" by Mitsuyuki Manabe, Tokyo City News Department)
January 19, 2013(Mainichi Japan)

Gender equality key to Japan’s future prosperity
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The British government has decided that the present succession rule is out of date and does not conform to the principle of gender equality. [...]

In Japan a similar change in the succession law was suggested some years ago before Prince Akishino’s son was born, but it was strongly opposed by conservative diehards for whom male primogeniture seems to be regarded as sacrosanct. In the view of some observers these diehards (including some officials in the Imperial Household) have hardly yet come into the 20th century let alone the 21st century.

There still seem to be some Japanese who think that the only real job for women is housework and looking after children. Nevertheless, if a Japanese politician were once again to declare that the main function of Japanese women was to act as a reproduction machine, he would, I hope, “be laughed out of court.” The election of a woman as president of South Korea is a significant development, but anti-Korean attitudes among some Japanese seem likely to prevent this becoming a precedent for Japan. Continuing male chauvinism among Japanese politicians and the absence of any outstanding female politician suggest that it will be a long time before a Japanese women is elected as prime minister. [...]

Senior Japanese business women are still a relatively rare phenomenon. Most Japanese boards of directors lack even a token woman director. In international comparisons, Japan appears way down on the list, somewhere among the most traditional Middle Eastern countries. This is partly due to the way in which women are recruited and often used simply as receptionists and tea servers. Japanese business systems also make it very difficult for women who take time off to bear and rear children to return to responsible jobs.

Japanese women have found it easier to get good jobs with foreign companies where prejudice against women executives is frowned on. Japanese women who study English often become more competent than their male contemporaries. They make better interpreters than men except where men have been brought up in a bilingual environment. Women are better represented in the professions, academia and the arts. But women have had to push hard to gain promotion.

Japanese women, given the same educational opportunities, are just as capable as men of holding down difficult jobs. In Britain girls often achieve better grades at school and university than boys partly because they are often better motivated; I doubt whether Japanese girls are less intelligent than Japanese boys.

The number two post in the British Embassy is currently filled by a senior woman diplomat; the counsellor in charge of commercial work in the embassy is also an experienced woman diplomat. Apparently they have no difficulty in performing their duties and do not experience discrimination because they are women. This suggests that attitudes are changing in more enlightened circles. Gender equality is hindered by the continuation of the practice, which is particularly prevalent in Japan, that sons, grandsons and even great grandsons should continue to run Japanese businesses or follow in their fathers’ professions.[...]

If Japan is to maintain its competitive position in the world and not experience further economic decline it needs to ensure that gender equality is achieved in practice and not just in principle. Japan needs as a matter of urgency to make better use of Japan’s intelligent women, who constitute such a large section of Japanese people of working age.
(The author of this comment, Hugh Cortazzi, served as Britain’s ambassador to Japan from 1980-1984.)
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  #864  
Old 02-02-2013, 08:34 AM
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Thank you for those articles, ChiaraC.

I was quite surprised to read the comments made by Princess Akiko and Prince Akishino. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the first time members of the Royal Family have actually spoken on the issue, isn't it? In any case, I agree with Akiko: the situation must resolve sooner than later because it will hugely influence the career and personal choices of the Princesses.
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  #865  
Old 02-02-2013, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Artemisia View Post
Thank you for those articles, ChiaraC.

I was quite surprised to read the comments made by Princess Akiko and Prince Akishino. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the first time members of the Royal Family have actually spoken on the issue, isn't it? In any case, I agree with Akiko: the situation must resolve sooner than later because it will hugely influence the career and personal choices of the Princesses.
You are very welcome!

Depends on what you mean by "on the issue". You certainly remember that considering the proposed changes of the law under Koizumi, Prince Tomohito of Mikasa did comment (that famous concubine comment , I do not think that we have to repeat it), and even if it is less known, also the late Princess Takamatsu commented at the time and said that as there had been reigning empresses before in Japan´s history, she could not conceive why there should not be another.

Regarding the present discussion about the female branches, Prince Akishino as well as Princess Akiko have, in fact, made more controversial remarks in the past than those that are quoted here... On his birthday press conference in November 2011, Akishino said,"I would leave it to Diet deliberations to discuss the institutional aspects of the Imperial House Law, but my own, and the crown prince's opinions, could be sounded out (on this issue)." In my opinion, this request was clearly unconstitutional.

During the debate about changing the succession law that took place in 2004/2005, it was expressly said that the imperial family members would not be asked to give their opinion as this was a political issue and the imperial family is supposed to absolutely refrain from commenting on political matters. Sure, the emperor still managed to have his view known, but that is probably as it has been ever since the end of the war: officially, the tenno has nothing to do with politics, but inofficially, well, you know... But what Akishino did there was quite another story. He clearly expected to be consulted and - publicly! - said so. I see but two possible ways to explain this behaviour: either he had no clue concerning the constitutional role of the tenno and the imperial family, or he willfully ignored it.

Japanese experts on these matters did not fail to notice that, too. After Prince Akishino had made his remarks, Noriho Urabe, professor emeritus at Kobe University, said, obviously with some amazement, that the opinions of the Emperor and other members of the Imperial family should have nothing to do with how the Imperial family system should work:
Quote:
"The Emperor is not supposed to express his opinions in public forums, which also should be applied for other members of the Imperial family," Urabe said, citing two stipulations of the Constitution that the Emperor's position derives from the will of the people, and that he shall not have powers related to government.
Princess Akiko, in her turn, gave in January 2012 an exclusive interview to the Mainichi on the matter which admittedly came as a surprise to me. I suppose that her father, the late Prince Tomohito, felt the need to again give his opinion on this matter but could not do it himself as he was already hospitalized. While Princess Akiko claimed in the interview that she intended to refrain from making "any political statements" and emphasized that the issue was "up to the state (the government and the Diet)," she was not satisfied with asking the lawmakers to quickly decide the matter (which is clearly a personal - and very just! - comment). Instead, at a time, when the discussion was only about allowing or not allowing female-headed branches, Akiko was among the first to reintroduce the proposal of granting members of the former collateral branches imperial status into the discussion. "The current debate appears to be concerned (only) with whether or not to allow matrilineal Imperial Family branches," she said. "I feel uncomfortable about that."

With all due respect, at that time to even mention the possibility of reinstating former imperial family members was undoubtedly a political statement. The very reason why Koizumi in his attempt to change the succession law did not even consider this option was that it was supposed to be absolutely unacceptable to the broader public in general. Only a small ultraconservative minority proposed it - among them Princess Akiko´s father Prince Tomohito...
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  #866  
Old 02-02-2013, 11:27 AM
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Chiara!
Thanks for the articles! They are informative. I am not too surprised to read Prince Akishino's comments. However, I am not able to understand what he meant by saying "... and I've told them about the current situation, so I think they understand".
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  #867  
Old 02-02-2013, 11:37 AM
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Prince Tomohito's comment is certainly not an easy one to forget.
I was referring to the issue of collateral branches for Imperial Princesses because I thought none of the Princesses had actually commented on the proposal. Obviously, I was wrong: thanks for reminding of Akiko's birthday interview which I have somehow missed.
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  #868  
Old 02-02-2013, 01:45 PM
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You are very welcome, Albina!
Quote:
However, I am not able to understand what he meant by saying "... and I've told them about the current situation, so I think they understand".
Well, I do not think that there is actually much to be understood - I suppose what the prince wanted to express was that, as of now, the future of the princesses is uncertain, that maybe they will have the possibility to retain their imperial status after marriage, and maybe not, and that nobody knows if a change will take place, and if so, when. And I suppose that the princesses understood that nothing is clear as yet, and that this state of things may last for years...
Or maybe it is me who does not understand your question?

Quote:
Prince Tomohito's comment is certainly not an easy one to forget.
Indeed...

Artemisia, I am actually not even sure if it was a birthday interview. It was published on January 7, 2012, and Akiko´s birthday is on 20 December. I have never seen a birthday interview being published so very late, and the contents were not the usual ones (looking back on the past year, personal life, family, outlook, important national and international events etc.). Not even the Fukushima catastrophe of March, 11, was mentioned - in January 2012, mind you! I tend to think that the interview was given on occasion of the upcoming debate about the changes, not on occasion of Princess Akiko´s birthday. (Incidentally, the bigger part of the article is still to be found here, scroll down, very last post.)
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  #869  
Old 02-04-2013, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ChiaraC View Post
You are very welcome, Albina!
Well, I do not think that there is actually much to be understood - I suppose what the prince wanted to express was that, as of now, the future of the princesses is uncertain, that maybe they will have the possibility to retain their imperial status after marriage, and maybe not, and that nobody knows if a change will take place, and if so, when. And I suppose that the princesses understood that nothing is clear as yet, and that this state of things may last for years...
Or maybe it is me who does not understand your question? ... [snipped]
Thanks for the reply!
You did understand my question correctly. The Japanese royals are masters of vague speaking. I could not quite figure out whether or not Prince Akishino was all right with possible changes coming. In the end, Princess Mako and Princess Kako will conform with whatever laws are passed.
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  #870  
Old 03-01-2013, 03:22 PM
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Well, I know that the Imperial Family is extremely controlled by the Imperial Household Agency, but there is any clue about the Emperor and his son's opinions on the succession crisis?

And what about Princess Akiko of Mikasa, she's the oldest of the unmarried Princesses, isn't she? She'll be 32 in December. Any information about if she's seeing someone?
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  #871  
Old 03-01-2013, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by BrazilianEmpire View Post
Well, I know that the Imperial Family is extremely controlled by the Imperial Household Agency, but there is any clue about the Emperor and his son's opinions on the succession crisis?
They have never publicly commented on the issue, and they would not. But, all things considered, it is to be supposed that they are deeply worried... Besides, it was upon the request of Shingo Haketa, at the time grand steward of the IHA, that then-prime minister Yoshihiko Noda proposed to seek opinions from experts on the matter and to submit a bill to revise the Imperial House Law to the Diet. Haketa visited Noda (DPJ) at his office on October 5, 2011, and told him it was a matter of urgency to enable female members of the imperial family to create family branches. I, for one, believe that the emperor himself was behind this request. Princess Mako, his eldest grandaughter, became of age on October, 23, 2011, and I suspect that the emperor wanted to make sure that the law would be changed before she left the imperial family by marriage, as did his only daughter in 2005.

Since then, members of the IHA have repeatedly expressed their concern because of the fact that the matter did not seem to come any closer to being resolved (see for example the Mainichi article quoted in post #816 of this thread). See also this article:

Quote:
The Imperial Household Agency has become increasingly anxious over the newly surfaced proposal [to allow princesses to continue using their imperial honorary status even after leaving the royal family], and its worries reportedly stem from the concerns of the Emperor himself over the future of the Imperial family. As the Emperor strictly complies with Article 4 of the Constitution, which stipulates that the Emperor will have no government-related powers, the government has refrained from asking him and other members of the Imperial family their opinions on whether princesses should be allowed to create their own branches. However, the Emperor has received reports on the interviews that were conducted with experts over the matter, as well as on the developments of discussions over the creation of new branches. Without asking directly, the Imperial Household Agency surmised the opinions of the Emperor and Imperial family members who would be directly affected by the change in the Imperial family system, and quietly reported its views to the government, a senior agency official said.

[...] A senior agency official expressed relief Friday over the government's report. "The decrease in the number of Imperial family members is unlikely to change in the near future. I hope the government will continue to discuss the issue even if the administration changes," he said. […]
It is also to be supposed that the (former) government´s plans to „give top priority to the desires of each individual princess“ stem from the fact that imperial family members have been asked for their opinions in summer:
Quote:
[...] the government chose to give top priority to the princesses' wishes for reasons of compassion. Princesses born into the Imperial family are raised on the understanding that they will leave the Imperial family when they marry and may have their own future dreams or visions. The government wants to avoid imposing constraints on the princess by allowing them to determine their own lives. The government principle reflected the views of members of the Imperial family to some extent.
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(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperor´s statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
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  #872  
Old 03-01-2013, 04:36 PM
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One thing is for sure: something has to be made. And as soon as possible. The Princesses are getting older, and I suppose they will want to marry and have children one day.

I my opinion, we'll have to wait until the next reign to see something happening. I hope to see an Empress Aiko of Japan.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by BrazilianEmpire View Post
And what about Princess Akiko of Mikasa, she's the oldest of the unmarried Princesses, isn't she? She'll be 32 in December. Any information about if she's seeing someone?
A member of this forum once said:
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Originally Posted by Kasumi View Post
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.
I do not know what her source is, but I admit to being somewhat scared by this statement because the given description fits Tsuneyasu Takeda, a member of the former collateral branches with rather extreme opinions:
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Originally Posted by mariaantoniapia View Post
I think Mr Takeda wrote about his admiration of a man who said that he would assissnate Mr Koizumi the former PM if his government was to make a way for Aiko to become a Tenno.
For further info see the posts #774, #775, #778 and #780 of this thread.

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One thing is for sure: something has to be made. And as soon as possible. The Princesses are getting older, and I suppose they will want to marry and have children one day.
The problem is that everybody on one hand agrees in that something should be done as soon as possible but that, on the other hand, it seems impossible to find a compromise regarding what should be done. A national Yomiuri Shimbun poll in December 2011 showed the idea of creating female-headed imperial branches had 64 per cent support among the Japanese, most experts at the government hearings backed it.

But there is a very powerful minority that is fighting tooth and nail against this solution, and one of its proponents happens to be the present prime minister... He thinks that members of the former imperial branches should get imperial status to boost the imperial family´s size. There are several difficulties with this proposal, one is that to give back imperial status to all the branches would become an immense financial burden for Japanese taxpayers. But if they choose to select just a few, it would be difficult to decide who that should be. Besides, many Japanese seem to feel like Mariaantoniapia:

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Originally Posted by mariaantoniapia View Post
Many Japanese people as in the general public do not support this idea of such men as Mr Takeda whose grandfathers were Imperial Highnesses until 1947 to be made Imperial Highnesses now and in due course become Tenno because it does not seem correct even in a traditional sense for someone who was born outside the Kouzoku (the Imperial Family) to become our Tenno.
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Originally Posted by mariaantoniapia View Post
I personally think it is good if Aiko was allowed to become the Crown Princess in due course because it is only natural for most people in Japan if she succeeded her father Naruhito. [...]

In the UK, things seem more different that women can succeed the throne like your present queen did but in Japan it has been Salic since the Meiji Restoration that women are excluded from the succession completely. Even if they were allowed to succeed the throne, many ultra right wing people will oppose the idea of a child of a Josei Tenno to succeed throne because they say that it will be the end of the male line.

I have a great respect towards the Emperor & the Empress that I really hope this succession law will be changed in due course to allow the female succession and accept the matrilineal succession as well.
Accordingly, in spite of the broad consent about the urgency of the matter, I strongly doubt that there will be done anything decisive about it any time soon. If Princess Akiko should decide to put off her marriage in order to wait for a change, she might well end up being past her child-bearing years on her wedding day.
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(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperor´s statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
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  #874  
Old 03-01-2013, 05:38 PM
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What's the problem with the Japanese politicians? They must hear people's opinions!
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  #875  
Old 03-01-2013, 05:40 PM
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Poor Princess Akiko. I believe that she, as well her sister, Princess Yoko, and the three Takamado Princesses, will have to give up their succession rights in order to marry.

But things will be different for the Emperor's three granddaughters.
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  #876  
Old 03-08-2013, 03:34 PM
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Does anyone knows if the members of the former branches are keen to become members of the Imperial Family, with all the limitations imposed by the Imperial Household Agency?
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  #877  
Old 03-08-2013, 04:51 PM
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If they are "former members" how can they become members of the imperial family again?
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  #878  
Old 03-08-2013, 05:07 PM
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If they are "former members" how can they become members of the imperial family again?
Did you never hear about the Japanese Government plans to restore the Imperial status of those former branches?

It's seems that Shinzo Abe prefers to inflate the Imperial Family instead to let Princesses marry and keep their Imperial titles, or allow Princess Aiko to succeed to the Throne.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:35 PM
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Poor Princess Akiko. I believe that she, as well her sister, Princess Yoko, and the three Takamado Princesses, will have to give up their succession rights in order to marry.
They won´t have to give up their succession rights because they do not have any in the first place. It should be mentioned that the question of succession rights was completely left out of the debate that took place last year (about letting princesses keep their status upon marriage). It was soon clear that the ultraconservatives would fight tooth and nail against any plans to give the princesses succession rights, and the government hoped (in vain ) that in this way it might be easier to find a compromise.

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Originally Posted by BrazilianEmpire View Post
Does anyone knows if the members of the former branches are keen to become members of the Imperial Family, with all the limitations imposed by the Imperial Household Agency?
It is not known. Only one of them has ever spoken about the issue in public, the above-mentioned Tsuneyasu Takeda. According to him, the heads of the former collateral branch families agreed in late 2004, just before Koizumi's advisory panel started its discussions regarding the amendment of the succession law, not to speak out on the issue in public. Takeda, in contrast, published a book titled „The untold truth of the imperial family“ to express his opposition to the proposed revisions. He also suggested reinstating the 11 former collateral branches that lost their imperial status after World War II. When Takeda approached some members to explain his plan to write this book, they told him to act according to the family agreement and not get involved in political issues. But Takeda chose to disregard their advice.

Takeda prides himself on being the “great-great grandson of Emperor Meiji”. Ironically, he is related to Emperor Meiji (who reigned 1867 to 1912) through one of the emperor´s daughters, that means through the despised female line (although this latter fact is usually not explicitly mentioned...). Through the male line Takeda´s relation to the present imperial family is not very close – he is descended from an emperor who reigned in the 14th century.

Although Takeda claims that he would feel overwhelmed if asked to step in to maintain the imperial house, I find it rather obvious that it is his secret goal to get imperial status one day. "Sometimes people say it would be good if I were to... return to imperial status, but that is something that I would be overawed by," he once said. "It's something I can't even imagine." But it is very improbable that this is more than the usual topos of modesty that is indispensable for a well-mannered Japanese. That becomes even more clear when Takeda with seeming humility informs the public: “People think that I must have been raised in a special way or that I lead a special daily life, but I personally don't think it's been all that special.” (If a Japanese wants to let you know what a wonderful person he is, he will tell you about his great amazement regarding the fact that other people use to find him so very wonderful...)

Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Yoichi Masuzoe said in 2006, when confronted with the proposal to restore the former family branches, that this would be ridiculous because it would favor former aristocrats, many with tenuous blood links to long-ago emperors, over contemporary female descendants of recent sovereigns. “As far as I know only one man would like to come back,” said Masuzoe. “But if he traces back to the Imperial Family – [it's] 600 years. The current emperor, Showa Emperor, Taisho Emperor, Meiji Emperor – they worked very hard and they’re really the cornerstone of our culture and our civilization. You abolish this to return some family relatives of long, long distant relatives? Personally, I cannot do that.”
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(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperor´s statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
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  #880  
Old 03-09-2013, 04:41 PM
Serene Highness
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Rio de Janeiro and Petrópolis, Brazil
Posts: 1,124
Oh, yes, I got confused with succession rights and titles. I intended to say that the Emperor's granddaughters will keep their titles upon marriage.

So, you're much more aware of what's happening in Japan than me. Do you think Parliament will restore the Imperial status of the former branches, or the politicians will let Princesses keep their titles after marrying commoners, starting their own branches of the Imperial Family?
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