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  #1  
Old 07-28-2006, 09:42 PM
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The Imperial Household Council

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexandria
Is there any published information about the people who work for the IHA? For example, we know what Mary's Lady in Waiting looks like and a little bit about her, just as we know a little bit about the woman who is Victoria of Sweden's mentor.

Is there any background information about members of the IHA? Perhaps that would help our understanding of these people and why they are so unopen to change.
I think I asked about that somewhere here or the Crown Prince's thread. I'm also dying to know who are these mysterious people that form the Imperial Household, how do they get that job (inherited maybe?) and what power do they have over the Imperial Family? Is it part of the Constitution that such secretive group should monitor the family? or is it a non written arrangement? Does the Emperor have the authority to remove them? Do they have the power to suggest or recomend to the government about things related to the Imperial Family?

Alexandria, all I found on a quick google search is this: http://202.32.36.83/eindex.html
but is not much. I also found this: http://www.infojapan.org/j_info/japa...ial/index.html
again, we can't figure out anything on this secretive group by these sites.

Also this one but is in Japanesse http://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/index.html. Anyone in the Forum can interpret it for us? This page redirected me from one that says Imperial household application for a visit.
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Old 07-28-2006, 09:45 PM
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Found it! The 1947 post war information on the Imperial Household. Quite an eye opener!
http://core.ecu.edu/hist/tuckerjo/1947law.html

Chapter V. the Imperial Household Council
Article 28. The Imperial Household Council shall be composed of ten members.
These members shall consist of two Imperial Family members, the Presidents and Vice Presidents of the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors, the Prime Minister, the head of the Imperial Household Office, the Chief Judge and one other judge of the Supreme Court.
The members of the Imperial Family and the judge, other than the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court, who are to become members of the Council, shall be chosen by mutual election from among the members of the Imperial family of age and from the judges other than the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court.
Article 29. The member of the Imperial Household Council, who is the Prime Minister, shall preside over its meeting.
Article 30. There shall be appointed ten reserve members in the Imperial Household Council...


Only two family members and the rest politicians and lawmakers? That brings light on why the constitutional change to allow an Empress was halted when Princess Kiko anounced pregnancy. The posibility of a male heir was good enough to stop on its tracks the change. Now to the details:

Article 33. The President of the Council shall convene the Imperial Household Council. The Imperial Household Council must be convoked, if demanded by four members or more, in the cases as under Article 3; Article 16, paragraph 2; Article 18; and Article 20.

Article 3. When the Imperial heir is suffering from an incurable disease of mind or body, or when any other weighty cause exists, the order of succession may be changed by decision of the Imperial Household Council and in accordance with the order stipulated in the preceding article.

Regency Article 16. In case the Emperor is a minor a Regency shall be instituted. In case the Emperor is affected with a serious disease, mentally or physically, or there is a serious hindrance and unable to perform his acts in matters of state, a Regency shall be instituted by decision of the Imperial Household Council.

Article 18. In case the Regent, or a person falling in the order of assumption of Regency, is affected with a serious disease, mentally or physically, or there is a serious hindrance, the Imperial Household Council may decide to change the Regent or the order of assumption of Regency, according to the order stipulated in the preceding Article.

Article 20. In case the obstacles mentioned in Article 16, paragraph 2 have been removed, the regency shall be abolished by decision of the Imperial Household Council.

Now let's go back a few articles on how they affect Princess Aiko

Article 14. A female, not of the Imperial Family, who is married to a shinnô or ô may, upon the loss of her husband, leave the status of the Imperial Family member according to her own desire.
When a female, mentioned in the preceding paragraph, has lost her husband, she shall, in the case of special and unavoidable circumstances, leave the status of Imperial Family member by decision of the Imperial Household Council.
In case a female, mentioned in the first paragraph, is divorced she shall lose the status of Imperial Family member.
The provision of the first paragraph and the preceding paragraph shall apply to females married to other members of the Imperial Family mentioned in the preceding Article.

Article 15. Any person outside the Imperial Family and his or her descendants shall not become a member thereof except in the cases where a female becomes Empress or marries a member of the Imperial Family.


So, from what I understand, if Princess Aiko becomes Empress of Japan her husband will become a member of the Imperial Family. That means she won't risk her position if she marries a commoner because, as Empress, she is the one who provides the imperial status to her husband. Right? But the same does not apply if she marries a commoner while being a princess, she could lose her status like her aunt did. This means Princess Aiko has to hold back on marriage until she becomes empress. But, if she was male and a prince the inheritance will be safe. In summary, is not easy being a Japanesse princess in this or last century.
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Old 07-28-2006, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Article 3. When the Imperial heir is suffering from an incurable disease of mind or body, or when any other weighty cause exists, the order of succession may be changed by decision of the Imperial Household Council and in accordance with the order stipulated in the preceding article.
I wonder if criticising the IHA in public in order to stand up for his wife counts as suffering from an incurable disease of mind or body. They could come back from the Netherlands to find that the Akishinos are now the Crown Prince and Crown Princess.
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Old 07-29-2006, 08:10 AM
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That would be so terrible! And yet, plausible. The Imperial Household seems to be the ruling body that has pressure the Crown Princess to keep trying for a male heir, and that pressure could be the reason why the princess became affected by depression. Not just for not being able to get pregnant again (I think she had a miscarriage in the past) but also the rejection of her very own daugther to be accepted as heir. That's when her husband reacted in Portugal (when he was on his way to Felipe and Letizia's wedding in Spain) critizing the pressure placed on his wife to have a male child.

So, the Imperial Agency can now use this against the couple to declare them unfit?

Regency Article 16. In case the Emperor is a minor a Regency shall be instituted. In case the Emperor is affected with a serious disease, mentally or physically, or there is a serious hindrance and unable to perform his acts in matters of state, a Regency shall be instituted by decision of the Imperial Household Council.

We recently saw the change in sucession in the kingdom of Jordan, so I won't be surprised if a imperial baby boy born is born in Japan in the next few weeks that will move the Imperial Household to make their move against the current Crown Princes.
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Old 07-29-2006, 10:18 AM
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Do you really think they can make their move without the consent of the current Emperor, though?

On another note -- in re-reading various threads on the Japanese Imperial Family last night I did come across the questions Elspeth and I raised about just how far along Kiko really is. Although there are conflicting reports, there in fact are reports that suggest she got pregnant at the end of November which would make the August due date correct. It also confirms, for me, my speculations that the "health reasons" for which Masako is going to the Netherlands are to alleviate pressure on her when Japan goes berserk over this boy. This is all very interesting to observe.
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Old 07-29-2006, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
It also confirms, for me, my speculations that the "health reasons" for which Masako is going to the Netherlands are to alleviate pressure on her when Japan goes berserk over this boy.
Or to get the Crown Prince family out of the country while they refocus public attention on the Akishinos.
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Old 07-29-2006, 11:45 AM
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Thanks for starting this thread Toledo; I have found it quite helpful in trying to understand how the IHA operates and what comprises the IHA exactly.

A few questions/notes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo
Chapter V. the Imperial Household Council
Article 28. The Imperial Household Council shall be composed of ten members.
These members shall consist of two Imperial Family members
Is it safe to presume that the two representatives from the family would be the Emperor and the Crown Prince? Or would it be the Emperor and the Empress? Either way the Emperor is at the core of the decision making in his family, which to me means that he is part of the reason why Aiko may not be Empress though in any other country it would be her birthright, and why there has been little support for Masako's plight.

Furthermore, due to the changing governments, that would mean that agendas would change, too. So one government may be very liberal and would support Aiko becoming an Empress. Supposing that they started a change in protocol of the IHA to allow Aiko to become Empress but then come election time they were not re-elected (not necessary because of this specific policy) and a conservative government who did not support Aiko becoming Empress were to take over. Would that mean that their representatives in the IHA could halt any previous amendments started by the previous government to prohibit Aiko from becoming Empress?

Quote:
Article 14. A female, not of the Imperial Family, who is married to a shinnô or ô may, upon the loss of her husband, leave the status of the Imperial Family member according to her own desire.
When a female, mentioned in the preceding paragraph, has lost her husband, she shall, in the case of special and unavoidable circumstances, leave the status of Imperial Family member by decision of the Imperial Household Council.
I think this is a terrible law. I can certainly understand as stated in a subsequent law why in the case of a divorce a princess by marriage would no longer be part of the imperial family, but if she loses her husband by natural causes or by accident, she is also no longer part of the family if the IHA so decides? The woman's lost her princely-born husband and now she's been dropped from his family, too?

I wonder what would happen in the case that there were kids? So their mom may be dropped from the family but the kids would still be part of official pictures or engagements?
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Old 07-29-2006, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily
It also confirms, for me, my speculations that the "health reasons" for which Masako is going to the Netherlands are to alleviate pressure on her when Japan goes berserk over this boy. This is all very interesting to observe.
Many royalty watchers indeed have the idea that the vacation to the Netherlands is no coincidence but a carefully planned move.

At the other hand: I can not imagine Queen Beatrix being in a sort of complot with the Imperial Household Agency. I think that the Queen has invited Crown Prince Naruhito, Princess Masako and Princess Aiko with the best intentions.

One thing for sure, the Queen's 14th Century-build weekend-retreat surrounded by 28.000 hectare of ancient forests, moorlands, water-meadows and agriculture not only provides the summum of privacy. It is absolutely a place to reload your batteries:

The pictures are from ANP and are uploaded via my own webspace:





I'm convinced that The Queen just wants Princess Masako to have quality time. Hopefully Princess Catharina-Amalia, Countess Eloise and Count Claus-Casimir will visit the castle to play with little Aiko.

There are fantastic stables on the terrain (see picture), so they can ride on horseback or with carriages for hours and have a picknick near a few of the great lakes.





And of course Princess Masako's father do live in The Hague.
The Princess' father is a Justice at the International Court of Justice.
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Old 07-29-2006, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henri M.
And of course Princess Masako's father do live in The Hague.
The Princess' father is a Justice at the International Court of Justice.
Let's us all hope is a well deserved vacation and family visit, although the accomodations seem to be more like a termporary exile until things calm down in Japan with princess Kiko's baby.
I think sometimes I view the Japanesse royals and wished they would be more like our royals in Spain, hot blooded, with a fiery temperament and a sense for drama. But the cultures are so different I forget in Japan they are more subtle when they want to make a point. A few words from the Crown Prince carry a lot of weight, like when he opened the lid on the Imperial Household's pressure on his wife Masako. I'm hoping that if the situation for the Crown Princes takes a turn for the worse in the next few weeks, Prince Naruhito will once again express a few words that will safeguard his family from the Imperial Household.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexandia
Is it safe to presume that the two representatives from the family would be the Emperor and the Crown Prince? Or would it be the Emperor and the Empress? Either way the Emperor is at the core of the decision making in his family, which to me means that he is part of the reason why Aiko may not be Empress though in any other country it would be her birthright, and why there has been little support for Masako's plight.
I read some more and could not find who are these two royals, but I'm sure one of them is the Emperor. I doubt the Empress would be given a vote considering the extremely chauvinistic way that document is written. Which we have to thank none other than General McArthur, the one who interferred when the new Constitution was written that not only eliminated the titled nobility (where Princess Aiko could get a husband without losing her status) but removed the other members associated with the Imperial Family. This left us with a very small circle of royals that has been currently decreasing since the late 1940's.
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Old 07-29-2006, 02:09 PM
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thanks for the information, very interesting.am i the only 1 who hopes the new baby is a girl!
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Old 07-29-2006, 03:45 PM
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I think it is a boy.

"Lay down and think of Japan".
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Old 07-29-2006, 05:54 PM
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Henry M. that castle is beautiful. As I said, the accomodations they will have makes me suspicious of the actual lenght of the stay. I don't know, but I got a baaad feeling about all this.
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Old 07-29-2006, 06:08 PM
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Toledo, I have read in other places that people think this may be the beginning of an "exile" but I really don't think that, at least so far. I do think it is a way to get them out of the country during (what I believe) is the due date. And, as absolutely serious as Placenta Previa can be, I call into question whether that is truly Kiko's diagnosis or if it is a convenient excuse to do a C-section at a convenient time while N and M are out of the country. And I think it makes sense for them to go to the Netherlands where Masako's parents are. I really admire Queen Beatrix, I don't think she would meddle in the IHA's affairs but I do think she is sympathetic enough as a person to offer help. I also find it ironic that this strong, capable, IMO great role model, Queen is extending hospitality to a potential Empress and her parents at the same time Japan is rejoicing that she won't be Empress! Could this be sending some sort of signal to the IHA?
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Old 07-29-2006, 06:14 PM
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I hope this is not what we all feel it's going to happen, a thread about our favorite Japanese Princely family in exile would be so sad. This is really taking a turn to the worst right before our eyes. And all because Aiko was born a girl. I just could not believe things like this would happen in such an advanced nation.
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Old 07-29-2006, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo
Henry M. that castle is beautiful. As I said, the accomodations they will have makes me suspicious of the actual lenght of the stay. I don't know, but I got a baaad feeling about all this.
Nonono... no need to have a bad feeling: the Crown Prince, Princess Masako and Princess Aiko will be guests of Queen Beatrix in the month of August.

Of course Crown Prince Naruhito and his family will return to Tokyo. He is and remains the future Emperor, no matter the gender of the soon-to-be-born imperial Prince or Princess.

In the meantime Queen Beatrix as well as The Prince and Princess of Orange can strenghten their ties with the imperial family.

Maybe the Queen will offer a private banquet to their guests. She can receive them in style in the 17th C Japanese Chamber at Huis ten Bosch palace, her private residence.

The pics are from the Royal House website and uploaded via my own webspace.







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Old 07-29-2006, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily
I really admire Queen Beatrix, I don't think she would meddle in the IHA's affairs but I do think she is sympathetic enough as a person to offer help.
Indeed Queen Beatrix is not the person for such adventures.
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Old 07-29-2006, 07:26 PM
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So to summarize, Masako's own father in law is part of the committee that is responsible for making her life the misery she feels it is? Nice. It figures though that these 'grey men' aren't as grey and theoretical as we'd love them to be.

Of course, I guess we'd need to keep in mind their goal is the continuity of the imperial family tree, the quality of individual family member's private lives be darned.

Also, perhaps the emperor is in the committee but might not really have a voice somehow? (Giving him the benefit of the doubt..)

And let's keep my favorite Queen out of this mess please, she has nothing to do with it.
It is said that Naruhito is a friend of Willem Alexander's. What this is probably is Masako and Naruhito visiting her parents in the Hague, and the young family staying either at Huis ten Bosch, also in the Hague, or in WA's house in the suburb of Wassenaar.
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Old 07-29-2006, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princess olga
It is said that Naruhito is a friend of Willem Alexander's. What this is probably is Masako and Naruhito visiting her parents in the Hague, and the young family staying either at Huis ten Bosch, also in the Hague, or in WA's house in the suburb of Wassenaar.
The Queen and the late Prince Claus were longtime friends of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. There are pictures of Crown Princess Michiko playing with Princess Beatrix three little toddlers.

The Prince of Orange and Crown Prince Naruhito do know each other very well too. The first major State Visit of a very young Prince Willem-Alexander went to Japan and Crown Prince Naruhito has been a regular guest in the Netherlands as well.

But he and his family will not stay with Queen Beatrix or Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima. The Queen has offered them her weekend-retreat (a 14th C romantic castle) in the east of the country. Ultimate privacy and security guaranteed.
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Old 07-29-2006, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henri M.
The Queen and the late Prince Claus were longtime friends of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. There are pictures of Crown Princess Michiko playing with Princess Beatrix three little toddlers.

The Prince of Orange and Crown Prince Naruhito do know each other very well too. The first major State Visit of a very young Prince Willem-Alexander went to Japan and Crown Prince Naruhito has been a regular guest in the Netherlands as well.

But he and his family will not stay with Queen Beatrix or Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima. The Queen has offered them her weekend-retreat (a 14th C romantic castle) in the east of the country. Ultimate privacy and security guaranteed.
So they're at kasteel het Oude Loo? Lucky them!
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Old 07-29-2006, 10:52 PM
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Queen Beatrix is an excellent person, and I'm sure she is doing what she can in order to help Naruhito and Masako. I hope all this shall be for good.

Vanesa.
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