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  #1001  
Old 07-03-2018, 01:01 PM
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Well, it is a valid point.
The Imperial Family is running out of potential heirs.
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  #1002  
Old 07-03-2018, 01:18 PM
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Continuing of Japanese imperial family is indeed in big troubles. Whole succession legistature should open and reform. It is totally ridicolous that future of whole dynasty is in hands of only one boy. Hisahito is still young but things goes problematic at least on this point if he gets only daughters or he never gets any child. Best solution would be that Japanese government would allow women ascend to Chrysanterium Throne at least if there is not any male left and include at least princess Aiko to succession line.
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  #1003  
Old 07-03-2018, 01:35 PM
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I think it is clear that the conservatives are hoping that Hisahito will marry early, and have several sons, and that they think this will avoid the need for legislating any kind of changes.

It's a head-in-sand posture that probably won't end well, and it doesn't in any way address the decreasing number of family members available to perform public engagements, but I suppose we'll see how it plays out.
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  #1004  
Old 07-03-2018, 05:17 PM
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They can skip women and allow their sons to ascend the throne. On top of that the Princesses shouldn't lose their royal status.

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  #1005  
Old 07-03-2018, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ista View Post
I think it is clear that the conservatives are hoping that Hisahito will marry early, and have several sons, and that they think this will avoid the need for legislating any kind of changes.

It's a head-in-sand posture that probably won't end well, and it doesn't in any way address the decreasing number of family members available to perform public engagements, but I suppose we'll see how it plays out.
There is a strong probability that it will play out as they expect provided that Hisahito can find a wife who is considered suitable and the two of them are adherents of the male-only principle and use fertility treatments and sex selection to guarantee having boys. In the meantime, the decreasing number of royals helps the traditionalists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XeniaCasaraghi View Post
They can skip women and allow their sons to ascend the throne.
Most people who dislike female succession likewise dislike succession through female lines.


Quote:
The government has also issued a statement of congratulations on the engagement but Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga noted the challenges associated with the shrinking number of imperial family members.

"There are various views (on how to address the issue) and we need to consider them fully in order to gain national consensus," he said at a press conference Monday.
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles...0m/0dm/078000c

Was Suga asked a question on the shrinking imperial family? Otherwise, I'm not sure why he made this comment, as I doubt Abe can gain a national consensus to restore collateral branches.
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  #1006  
Old 07-03-2018, 09:14 PM
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I understand why Japan adheres to male only succession and I support them wanting to keep it, but something has to change and if they want only men on the throne then they could do what France did and allow a royal ladies son to succeed. Though I still see how that is a problem with maintaining the one family line. Bottom line is they can't put all the weight on Hisahito, he may end up having girls as well while his sisters have 4boys each.
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  #1007  
Old 07-03-2018, 10:10 PM
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In case something happened to Hisahito or he was sterile, the people who want to continue excluding women from succession (they are in the minority, but include Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and numerous prominent politicians) would want to restore collateral branches (allow commoners who are male-line descendants of emperors to enter the imperial family). But since this option polls with only 22% approval, they surely are not going to take the risk of passing an unpopular bill unless the public warms to it or it becomes clear that no son can be expected from Hisahito.
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  #1008  
Old 07-03-2018, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XeniaCasaraghi View Post
I understand why Japan adheres to male only succession and I support them wanting to keep it, but something has to change and if they want only men on the throne then they could do what France did and allow a royal ladies son to succeed. Though I still see how that is a problem with maintaining the one family line. Bottom line is they can't put all the weight on Hisahito, he may end up having girls as well while his sisters have 4boys each.
Except until 1889, an Empress regnant was allowed. Not often but it did occur. So the male only succession is a recent development in Japan's history. Granted there are arguments that the reigns were "temporary."
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  #1009  
Old 07-04-2018, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O-H Anglophile View Post
Except until 1889, an Empress regnant was allowed. Not often but it did occur. So the male only succession is a recent development in Japan's history. Granted there are arguments that the reigns were "temporary."
I mentioned this way up thread, but IIRC the current rules regarding females and the throne were part of the constitution heavily influenced (imposed?) by the USA/Allies during the occupation after WWII. The story goes that they knew that Hirohito needed to remain on the throne to keep the Japanese governable in the short term (rather than prosecuting him for alleged war crimes as the allies really wanted to do) but wanted to make sure that the family (and the monarchy) eventually went extinct. I don't know how accurate that summary is, but I can easily believe it given the political climate at the time.
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  #1010  
Old 07-04-2018, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraS3514 View Post
I mentioned this way up thread, but IIRC the current rules regarding females and the throne were part of the constitution heavily influenced (imposed?) by the USA/Allies during the occupation after WWII. The story goes that they knew that Hirohito needed to remain on the throne to keep the Japanese governable in the short term (rather than prosecuting him for alleged war crimes as the allies really wanted to do) but wanted to make sure that the family (and the monarchy) eventually went extinct. I don't know how accurate that summary is, but I can easily believe it given the political climate at the time.
I'm skeptical of the story because the current rules concerning women were already included in the 1889 Imperial House Law.

Quote:
Article I. The Imperial Throne of Japan shall be succeeded to by male descendants in the male line of Imperial Ancestors.

[…]

Article XLIV. A female member of the Imperial Family, who is married to a subject, shall be excluded from membership in the Imperial Family. [...]
The Imperial Household Law (1889)

The 1947 Imperial House Law essentially continued those two rules from 1889. (The rules of succession and membership are dealt with in the Imperial House Law instead of the Constitution, which is more difficult to change.)

The Imperial House Law - The Imperial Household Agency
THE CONSTITUTION OF JAPAN
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  #1011  
Old 07-04-2018, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Article I. The Imperial Throne of Japan shall be succeeded to by male descendants in the male line of Imperial Ancestors.

[…]

Article XLIV. A female member of the Imperial Family, who is married to a subject, shall be excluded from membership in the Imperial Family. [...]
I don't know if this was asked before but can someone clarify regarding what " married to a subject " mean is it like Sweden and Norway when princes of the royal blood weren't allowed to marry someone who is a Swedish or Norwegian.

If a Chris O'Neill married a princess of the imperial family would she retain her position and title or is it, commoners in general?
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  #1012  
Old 07-04-2018, 06:50 PM
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If a Japanese princess married a foreign prince, she could IMO hardly be stripped of her royal title as she is not marrying beneath her station.
Whether she will retain her place in the succession is another matter.
Probably not IMO. I think it would be expected of her to follow her foreign husband and settle abroad somewhere.
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  #1013  
Old 07-04-2018, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
If a Japanese princess married a foreign prince, she could IMO hardly be stripped of her royal title as she is not marrying beneath her station.
Whether she will retain her place in the succession is another matter.
Probably not IMO. I think it would be expected of her to follow her foreign husband and settle abroad somewhere.
My question was regarding a foreign commoner, if Japanese princess married a foreign commoner would she be allowed to keep her title and position or not?


Also thanks for your reply Muhler .
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  #1014  
Old 07-04-2018, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duke of poliganc View Post
My question was regarding a foreign commoner, if Japanese princess married a foreign commoner would she be allowed to keep her title and position or not?
... [snipped].
Japanese Imperial Princesses are highly unlikely to marry a foreigner. A social status (a commoner or aristocrat or prince) of a foreigner in question is irrelevant. Japanese Imperial Princesses will not be allowed to keep their titles/position.
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  #1015  
Old 07-04-2018, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duke of poliganc View Post
I don't know if this was asked before but can someone clarify regarding what " married to a subject " mean is it like Sweden and Norway when princes of the royal blood weren't allowed to marry someone who is a Swedish or Norwegian.

If a Chris O'Neill married a princess of the imperial family would she retain her position and title or is it, commoners in general?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
If a Japanese princess married a foreign prince, she could IMO hardly be stripped of her royal title as she is not marrying beneath her station.
Whether she will retain her place in the succession is another matter.
Probably not IMO. I think it would be expected of her to follow her foreign husband and settle abroad somewhere.
A princess who married a foreigner, prince or commoner, would be excluded from the imperial family and lose her imperial title.

The idea is that on marrying, a woman leaves the family of her father and joins the family of her husband. Marriage to a foreign prince would make the princess a member of the foreign royal family, excluding her from the Japanese imperial family.

The Imperial House Law of 1889 allowed the Emperor to authorize a woman who had left the imperial family to retain her imperial title, but the law also made marriages to foreign royals, and any commoners, impossible.

Article XLIV. A female member of the Imperial Family, who is married to a subject, shall be excluded from membership in the Imperial Family. However, she may be allowed, by special grace of the Emperor to retain her title of naishinnô or nyoô, as the case may be.

Article XL. Marriages of members of the Imperial Family shall be restricted to the circle of the Imperial Family, or to certain noble families specially approved by Imperial Order.
The Imperial Household Law (1889)


Under the (current) Imperial House Law of 1947, imperial titles are reserved for members of the imperial family. A princess may now (theoretically) marry a foreigner, but she cannot be allowed to retain her title after she has left the imperial family.
Article 5. The Empress, the Grand Empress Dowager, the Empress Dowager, Shinno, the consorts of Shinno, Naishinno, O, the consorts of O, and Jo-o shall be the members of the Imperial Family.

Article 12. In case a female of the Imperial Family marries a person other than the Emperor or the members of the Imperial Family, she shall lose the status of the Imperial Family member.
The Imperial House Law - The Imperial Household Agency

As for succession, Japanese princesses had no place in the line of succession under the law of 1889, nor in the current law of 1947.
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  #1016  
Old 07-04-2018, 08:24 PM
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Given that Japanese aristocracy was abolished in 1947, there is no real alternative for imperial princesses to get married and remain an official family member. Why can't the aristocracy be reinstated?
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  #1017  
Old 07-04-2018, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
Given that Japanese aristocracy was abolished in 1947, there is no real alternative for imperial princesses to get married and remain an official family member. Why can't the aristocracy be reinstated?
Even under the law of 1889, princesses who married aristocrats did not remain imperial family members (Article XLIV). Since a woman joined the family of her husband, the wife of an aristocrat was a member of the aristocracy, not the imperial family.
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  #1018  
Old 07-04-2018, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
Even under the law of 1889, princesses who married aristocrats did not remain imperial family members (Article XLIV). Since a woman joined the family of her husband, the wife of an aristocrat was a member of the aristocracy, not the imperial family.
Could a son of such a union become emperor if no male-heirs were available within the imperial family?

Aren't there cadet branches of the imperial family that were disregarded as well?

Edit: The emperor's eldest sister was married to a cousin and their eldest two children were born as members of the royal family. Why can't they (and others) be reinstated? In that case Japan would have additional princes and princesses:
- prince Nobuhiko Higashikuni (b. 1945) and his wife princess Yoshiko and son prince Yukihiko (b. 1973) (no idea whether Yukihiko is married and his children)
- prince/princess Hidehiko Higashikuni (b. 1949)
- prince Naohiko Higashikuni (b. 1953) and his wife princess Kazuko and two sons prince Teruhiko and prince Mutsuhiko (probably married and with children?)
- prince/princess Yūko Higashikuni (b. 1954)

- prince/princess Atsuhiko Higashikuni (b. 1966) (by his second wife)
- prince/princess Morihiko Higashikuni (b. 1967) (by his second wife)
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  #1019  
Old 07-04-2018, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
Even under the law of 1889, princesses who married aristocrats did not remain imperial family members (Article XLIV). Since a woman joined the family of her husband, the wife of an aristocrat was a member of the aristocracy, not the imperial family.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
Could a son of such a union become emperor if no male-heirs were available within the imperial family?
No, not even if he was a descendant from emperors in the male line. The aristocracy (kazoku) was not part of the Imperial Family. Only members of the Imperial Family could ascend the throne, and this remains the rule.

Imperial House Law of 1889
Article I. The Imperial Throne of Japan shall be succeeded to by male descendants in the male line of Imperial Ancestors.

[…]

Article VII. If there is neither such Imperial uncle nor descendant of his, the Imperial Throne shall be succeeded to by the next nearest member among the rest of the Imperial Family.

Imperial House Law of 1947
Article 1. The Imperial Throne shall be succeeded to by a male offspring in the male line belonging to the Imperial Lineage.

Article 2. The Imperial Throne shall be passed to the members of the Imperial Family according to the following order:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
Aren't there cadet branches of the imperial family that were disregarded as well?

Edit: The emperor's eldest sister was married to a cousin and their eldest two children were born as members of the royal family. Why can't they (and others) be reinstated? In that case Japan would have additional princes and princesses:
- prince Nobuhiko Higashikuni (b. 1945) and his wife princess Yoshiko and son prince Yukihiko (b. 1973) (no idea whether Yukihiko is married and his children)
- prince/princess Hidehiko Higashikuni (b. 1949)
- prince Naohiko Higashikuni (b. 1953) and his wife princess Kazuko and two sons prince Teruhiko and prince Mutsuhiko (probably married and with children?)
- prince/princess Yūko Higashikuni (b. 1954)

- prince/princess Atsuhiko Higashikuni (b. 1966) (by his second wife)
- prince/princess Morihiko Higashikuni (b. 1967) (by his second wife)
If additional princes and princesses were wanted, polls indicate that more people would support female branches than giving imperial status to the male-line descendants of ex-princes.

70% back female emperor or succession from the female line?The Asahi Shimbun


The 2005 committee report describes the other problems with "restoration".

Quote:
Appendix: The Proposal to Restore Imperial Status to Former Imperial Family Members
(Reference 16)

One idea that has been espoused as an immediate measure for maintaining the principle of
male succession is to restore membership in the Imperial Family to the so-called former
Imperial Family members who seceded from the Family in 1947, as well as to their male
descendants of male lineage. There are, however, formidable obstacles to the adoption of such a
policy. Besides the aforementioned difficulty of ensuring a stable Imperial succession through
the male line alone, the idea also faces the following problems in terms of public understanding
and support, stability and tradition:

• These former Imperial Family members have already spent almost sixty years as ordinary
citizens; furthermore, they are only distantly related to the present Emperor, the common
ancestry that they share with him going back some six hundred years to the Muromachi period.
There is thus concern as to whether they would be widely accepted among the public as genuine
members of the Imperial Family. This policy would find it difficult to obtain public
understanding and support under the present system in which the Emperor serves as symbol of
the state; and that system requires, more than in any previous age, that members of the
Imperial Family be beloved as such.

• When individuals are restored to or enrolled in the ranks of the Imperial Family, their
personal wishes will need to be respected. It will therefore ultimately depend on their decision
whether the policy actually produces any eligible successors to the Throne and, if so, how many.
The policy is thus inherently unstable. One implication is that — to look at the problem from a
different angle — individuals could well end up being in effect forced to join the Imperial Family,
depending on how the system is administered, and third parties other than the individuals
directly concerned could end up swaying the process.

• Historically speaking, it would be highly irregular for someone who has seceded from the
Imperial Family to rejoin it, or for a non-member of the Imperial Family to be enrolled in it.
And in only two cases have such individuals ascended the Throne, both during the Heian period.
(Both individuals differ from the so-called former Imperial Family members presently under
consideration in that they seceded only briefly from the Imperial Family and were close blood
relatives — sons — of Emperors.) This tradition has a substantial purpose, being designed to
prevent any confusion about the status of Imperial Family members by drawing a clear
distinction between their standing and that of the ordinary Japanese. This point deserves due
consideration still today. (Reference 17)
http://japan.kantei.go.jp/policy/koshitsu/051124_e.pdf
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  #1020  
Old 07-04-2018, 10:12 PM
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I understand there would be issues - most important whether they would be interested; probably not - but in my example we are talking about a nephew of the emperor who was born as a member of the imperial family, so not a distant family member at all. And as these princes were removed by the Americans and therefore by a foreign power, reinstating them (or at least some of them) to me wouldn't be that illogical but just a correction of an 'error' by the Americans.

The problem is that the imperial house was reduced significantly and because of that it has been made impossible for the princesses to marry imperial princes as they are still alive but no longer recognized as such. For example the current emperor's eldest sister was forced to leave the imperial family while she met all requirements (i.e. marrying an imperial prince - who himself also was a grandchild of emperor Meiji).
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