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  #1201  
Old 01-05-2020, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
Oh, it's one thing to attend ceremonies and be invited to the palace. It's another matter to become an integral part of it.
Agreed. And to have to follow the protocols and restrictions daily of life behind palace walls.
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  #1202  
Old 01-05-2020, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
Oh, it's one thing to attend ceremonies and be invited to the palace. It's another matter to become an integral part of it.
There is no problem (see Crown Princess Mary) They already prepared better than anybody else is.
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  #1203  
Old 01-05-2020, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Spheno View Post
There is no problem (see Crown Princess Mary) They already prepared better than anybody else is.
Three things though:
1) Mary volunteered to sign up for that life. And despite her unquestionable qualities, she will not become monarch.
2) The way the court works and the roles the royal families of Japan and DK (Europe) are markedly different and much more restricted - constricted even.
3) Mary's family is not included. Nice people as they no doubt are, I'm not sure they would appreciate becoming a part of the DRF.
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  #1204  
Old 01-05-2020, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Spheno View Post
Funny. Main problem was lack of princes/princesses. You found new one!
I'm not sure I understand you, but the problem of controversial relatives is not new; see again the engagement of Princess Mako and Kei Komuro.


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Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
Three things though:
1) Mary volunteered to sign up for that life. And despite her unquestionable qualities, she will not become monarch.
I think we can assume the adult members of any hypothetical "restored" branch would have volunteered to sign up. But indeed, it may have made a difference that Mary Donaldson was a consort who was accepted by her husband and his family, and not pushed into their family by the Danish government.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
2) The way the court works and the roles the royal families of Japan and DK (Europe) are markedly different and much more restricted - constricted even.
3) Mary's family is not included. Nice people as they no doubt are, I'm not sure they would appreciate becoming a part of the DRF.
Am I correct in assuming that in Denmark, it would not be considered a scandal tarnishing the name of the royal family if Mary's sister's husband's mother was disputing a debt with her former fiance?
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  #1205  
Old 01-05-2020, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
I'm not sure I understand you, but the problem of controversial relatives is not new; see again the engagement of Princess Mako and Kei Komuro.




I think we can assume the adult members of any hypothetical "restored" branch would have volunteered to sign up. But indeed, it may have made a difference that Mary Donaldson was a consort who was accepted by her husband and his family, and not pushed into their family by the Danish government.




Am I correct in assuming that in Denmark, it would not be considered a scandal tarnishing the name of the royal family if Mary's sister's husband's mother was disputing a debt with her former fiance?
I have allowed myself to bold key phrases in your post and respond to them chronologically.

It may very well be that the leading member of another branch of the Imperial Family would volunteer, even be eager to volunteer!
But he may also be very reluctant and in that case he will come under very considerable pressure by the government and conservative forces.
No matter what, his family may be less than eager, not to mention less than suited and heaven forbid even unsuited. But all of a sudden they are now full royals with all that entails...

It would at worst be an irritant. A fairly trivial financial dispute is not comparable to say someone who is criminal. Or who associate the wrong kind of people. That could be a problem! (See Epstein and Andrew.)
But like I said, there is a considerable difference between Japan and Europe.
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  #1206  
Old 01-06-2020, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
I wonder why [Prime Minister Abe] allegedly believes that scheduling the talks after the Crown Prince's investiture will cause them to go more smoothly for him. Is the sight of a man leading the pomp and ceremony expected to make it clear to all LDP members watching it that only men are acceptable in the role?

Well, the "government sources" quoted in the article have given an answer to my question, but in my opinion their answer leaves some loose ends.

The government is working informally on the issue because it postponed the full-fledged discussions that were to be held after the Daijosai ceremony in November out of respect for the crown prince, the sources said.

The Crown Prince has again and again messaged the public about his concerns for the shrinking Imperial Family. Where would be the "disrespect" in talking about an issue which he has practically asked the government to address?

There were strong views that “active debates should be avoided before Crown Prince Akishino's place in the line of succession is finalized,” a government source said.

The crown prince's place in the line of succession was "finalized" from birth! The rules of succession have been codified under the Imperial House Law ever since 1889. The upcoming investiture of the crown prince is solely about tradition; it has no legal effect.


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Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
But like I said, there is a considerable difference between Japan and Europe.
Agreed. That is why I am curious to see what those proposing restoration have to say (or not say) about vetting potential candidates - and their extended families.
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  #1207  
Old 01-06-2020, 08:46 AM
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Disrespect/respect is a most useful excuse for doing what you prefer to do...
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  #1208  
Old 02-11-2020, 02:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spheno View Post
Next first cousin (younger brother of Nobuhiko Higashikuni) is chairman of Yamashina Institute for Ornithology Mibu Motohiro Chairman | Yamashina Institute for Ornithology. He has two sons.
I doubt the Mibu family would willingly let Motohiro Mibu or his sons become Imperial heirs. Hidehiko Higashikuni was adopted into the Mibu family to be their 12th generation head and save the Mibu house from extinction.

Japan eyes succession talks after crown prince's April announcement - Kyodo News
Quote:
[...]

The crown prince, the younger brother of Emperor Naruhito, is scheduled to announce his status as first in line to the throne in the "Rikkoshi senmei no gi" ceremony on April 19, and a series of events related to the announcement will conclude with court banquets on April 21.

[...] a conservative grouping calling for the imperial status of unmarried men from collateral branches of the family to be restored if they wish, as part of measures to ensure stable succession.

Speaking at a House of Representatives committee session, Suga, chief Cabinet secretary, said the government has yet to ask the male members of such branches whether they wish the status to be restored or not, and that it has no plan to do so at the moment.

Suga acknowledged that government officials have already started hearing opinions from experts on an individual basis and studying various possibilities based on current discussions as the issue of the declining size of the imperial family is an urgent matter that should be tackled without delay.

[...]
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  #1209  
Old 02-11-2020, 05:04 AM
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Thank you Prisma, as always, for your informative updates. I have been following the Japanese imperial family for awhile and you are always the first person I turn to when I need my fix :)

I can't say I'm surprised by this news but it is disappointing nonetheless.

I am genuinely curious as to what descendants of the collateral branches think of the continual push by conservative lawmakers to restore the imperial status of these branches.

There's been news recently about how descendants of deposed European monarchies have championed the restoration of their thrones. But I seriously can't imagine there are too many descendants of the collateral branches seriously in favor of this proposal. The Japanese imperial family lead such restricted lives, especially in comparison to other constitutional monarchies and the pressure on any male commoner-turned-imperial prince would be incredibly intense. At the very least they will be expected to play a serious support role during the reign of Hisahito and in the most serious scenario he or his descendants could one day ascend to the throne.

I imagine due to their lineage and connections that these descendants already live fairly privileged lives. I doubt the tradeoff in this case is worth it.
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  #1210  
Old 02-11-2020, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ChicNot View Post
I can't say I'm surprised by this news but it is disappointing nonetheless.

I am genuinely curious as to what descendants of the collateral branches think of the continual push by conservative lawmakers to restore the imperial status of these branches.

There's been news recently about how descendants of deposed European monarchies have championed the restoration of their thrones. But I seriously can't imagine there are too many descendants of the collateral branches seriously in favor of this proposal. The Japanese imperial family lead such restricted lives, especially in comparison to other constitutional monarchies and the pressure on any male commoner-turned-imperial prince would be incredibly intense. At the very least they will be expected to play a serious support role during the reign of Hisahito and in the most serious scenario he or his descendants could one day ascend to the throne.

I imagine due to their lineage and connections that these descendants already live fairly privileged lives. I doubt the tradeoff in this case is worth it.
Welcome, and thank you for your insights!

Asking out of curiosity, why do you find the news of the timing disappointing?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
Japan eyes succession talks after crown prince's April announcement - Kyodo News

Quote:
Speaking at a House of Representatives committee session, Suga, chief Cabinet secretary, said the government has yet to ask the male members of such branches whether they wish the status to be restored or not, and that it has no plan to do so at the moment.
I think that is another indication that this government has no real intent to restore collateral male branches.




Apparently Crown Prince Akishino has been blamed for publicly revealing his worries about the shrinking imperial family.

https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-...s-reveal-about


Quote:
“Those who are building international goodwill are decreasing, but in a way there is nothing we can do,” the prince told local media. “I think those among us who are able can only do so much.

“We can engage in broader activities if there are more people in the next generation but if you look at the current situation, I believe it is necessary to examine what to do.”

The prince’s comments raised eyebrows on social media, with one commenter on the Japan Today website remarking: “The younger brother is now starting to show what was written in the gossip mags about his antipathy [towards] his big brother and wife, now emperor and empress.”

Another suggested “he has his own agenda here”, while others expressed indignation over Akishino’s apparent eagerness to reduce his duties despite still living a comfortable palace life bankrolled by public money.

“So the royals want to do even less,” one commenter wrote. “Okay, but your extremely generous allowances and public housing will be reduced proportionately.”

Noriko Hama, an economics professor at Doshisha University in Kyoto and prominent commentator on Japanese society, said: “I think Prince Akishino is inconspicuously trying to make himself conspicuous.

For comparison, there was speculation on then-Prince Akishino having his own agenda when he publicly pressed for a retirement age for emperors in the early 2010s. We now know that, at that time, Emperor Akihito was attempting to persuade the government to be allowed to retire, and it is easy to conclude that he authorized his son to make those comments.

So perhaps the commenters are correct, but I think it is equally believable that the entire family is worried about the shrinking imperial house, and Crown Prince Akishino has been authorized to speak up on their behalf.
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  #1211  
Old 02-11-2020, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
Welcome, and thank you for your insights!

Asking out of curiosity, why do you find the news of the timing disappointing?
Thank you Tatiana Maria! I was mainly referring to the insistence of conservative lawmakers to consider restoration of collateral branches instead of giving princesses succession rights (or at the bare minimum, the right to retain their imperial status and carry out duties after marriage). I agree that this current round of talks will probably not seriously see the restoration of collateral branches but I doubt it'll produce anything substantial either, since this vocal minority is so against female succession. And anything that hints at giving women rights after marriage would endure pushback by this group. (I would love to be proven wrong!)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
Welcome, and thank you for your insights!

For comparison, there was speculation on then-Prince Akishino having his own agenda when he publicly pressed for a retirement age for emperors in the early 2010s. We now know that, at that time, Emperor Akihito was attempting to persuade the government to be allowed to retire, and it is easy to conclude that he authorized his son to make those comments.

So perhaps the commenters are correct, but I think it is equally believable that the entire family is worried about the shrinking imperial house, and Crown Prince Akishino has been authorized to speak up on their behalf.
Oh no I agree! I am sure that the shrinking imperial family is a huge cause of concern for its remaining members. I just don't think this current round of talks (how many talks have they had?!?!) will alleviate the concerns of the imperial family.

I find giving women succession rights the most logical solution, but I wonder how this will affect Aiko, Kako, and Mako's life because I'm sure that the 'inner court' of princesses will be the most affected. None of us know their personal views of course, but there have been rumors in gossip magazines (that Prisma has kindly summarized for us) that Kako and Mako do not want to stay in the imperial family after marriage and have been raised to expect a life of privacy after marriage. Similarly, I recall on these forums rumors that the Empress is relieved Aiko will be able to live her life as a private citizen after marriage.

I recall in previous talks that this concern was raised. If female branches become a reality, I can't imagine the pressure Aiko, Kako, and Mako will be under to stay within the family rather than relinquish their royal status after marriage. I hope that the personal views of the princesses will be considered if they do end up crafting legislation/amending Imperial law. But I fear nonetheless that these princesses will be expected to stay within the imperial family after marriage regardless of their personal wishes.
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  #1212  
Old 02-12-2020, 02:46 AM
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Thank you ChicNot and welcome!

I'm not surprised either. Even though the government has no plans at the moment to ask the ex-Imperial branches... they haven't ruled it out completely. I bet if any ex-Imperial male descendant showed even the slightest willingness to return, the conservatives/LDP would do anything to get legislation though.

Some in Japan speculate Princess Mako's marriage dilemma will negativity affect proposals for female-led Imperial branches or even princesses representing after marriage. Kei Komuro is seen as an unsuitable connection. What if Aiko or Kako have problematic partners? Despite various opposition and mental health issues, commoners (only women so far) joining the Imperial family have been from the elite/privileged in Japan.

One farfetched theory on Japanese sites is the IHA or Akishino household leaked Mako's marriage plans and then authorized the media to scrutinize Komuro to prevent the marriage, a convoluted way to pressure the government about female-led Imperial branches. (Oh no, Mako's leaving. You don't want her to leave, right? Do something quick!)

The Imperial family/IHA also doesn't have experience with semi-private members. Either you're an Imperial member or not. What's a role for the husband of a princess? Despite the IHA making a few baby announcements regarding Ayako Moriya, she's been left alone as a private citizen.
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  #1213  
Old 02-12-2020, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
Thank you ChicNot and welcome!

I'm not surprised either. Even though the government has no plans at the moment to ask the ex-Imperial branches... they haven't ruled it out completely. I bet if any ex-Imperial male descendant showed even the slightest willingness to return, the conservatives/LDP would do anything to get legislation though.

Some in Japan speculate Princess Mako's marriage dilemma will negativity affect proposals for female-led Imperial branches or even princesses representing after marriage. Kei Komuro is seen as an unsuitable connection. What if Aiko or Kako have problematic partners? Despite various opposition and mental health issues, commoners (only women so far) joining the Imperial family have been from the elite/privileged in Japan.

One farfetched theory on Japanese sites is the IHA or Akishino household leaked Mako's marriage plans and then authorized the media to scrutinize Komuro to prevent the marriage, a convoluted way to pressure the government about female-led Imperial branches. (Oh no, Mako's leaving. You don't want her to leave, right? Do something quick!)

The Imperial family/IHA also doesn't have experience with semi-private members. Either you're an Imperial member or not. What's a role for the husband of a princess? Despite the IHA making a few baby announcements regarding Ayako Moriya, she's been left alone as a private citizen.
Your last point raises the question in mind: would the IHA have bothered announcing the birth of Ayako's baby if the child had been a daughter? Currently, her son could easily be considered the closest to the throne after Prince Hisahito, until Princesses Aiko, Mako and Kako have possible sons.
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  #1214  
Old 02-12-2020, 07:42 AM
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But are the currently living males of the former ōke branches of the IF really able to provide a better future for the succession? Do they have plenty of young boys in their lineages? Don't think so. I don't think it could solve the problem.
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  #1215  
Old 02-13-2020, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by CrownPrincessJava View Post
Your last point raises the question in mind: would the IHA have bothered announcing the birth of Ayako's baby if the child had been a daughter? Currently, her son could easily be considered the closest to the throne after Prince Hisahito, until Princesses Aiko, Mako and Kako have possible sons.
At least traditionalists would disagree even more strongly with enthroning Ayako's son than enthroning Ayako herself as emperor. Ayako is at least descended from emperors through the male line, and her son is not.

The closest blood male relations of the current Emperor would be the male descendants of his aunts, the sisters of the Emperor Emeritus. Interestingly, the male-line descendants of the Emperor Emeritus's eldest sister Shigeko Higashikuni are descended from emperors through the male line.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
I'm not surprised either. Even though the government has no plans at the moment to ask the ex-Imperial branches... they haven't ruled it out completely. I bet if any ex-Imperial male descendant showed even the slightest willingness to return, the conservatives/LDP would do anything to get legislation though.
I can't imagine him publicly ruling it out, as that might poison his relations with the LDP's nationalist flank, but I'm not sure Shinzo Abe would be willing to legislate. He has been prime minister for over seven years and has been in a strong position through most of his term. He could have used his energies to plead the case of restoring collateral branches, if that was part of his political agenda, but he hasn't.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
Some in Japan speculate Princess Mako's marriage dilemma will negativity affect proposals for female-led Imperial branches or even princesses representing after marriage. Kei Komuro is seen as an unsuitable connection. What if Aiko or Kako have problematic partners? Despite various opposition and mental health issues, commoners (only women so far) joining the Imperial family have been from the elite/privileged in Japan.
I concur. Unfortunately but predictably, people fear women choosing unsuitable husbands more than they fear men choosing unsuitable wives.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicNot View Post
Thank you Tatiana Maria! I was mainly referring to the insistence of conservative lawmakers to consider restoration of collateral branches instead of giving princesses succession rights (or at the bare minimum, the right to retain their imperial status and carry out duties after marriage). I agree that this current round of talks will probably not seriously see the restoration of collateral branches but I doubt it'll produce anything substantial either, since this vocal minority is so against female succession. And anything that hints at giving women rights after marriage would endure pushback by this group. (I would love to be proven wrong!)




Oh no I agree! I am sure that the shrinking imperial family is a huge cause of concern for its remaining members. I just don't think this current round of talks (how many talks have they had?!?!) will alleviate the concerns of the imperial family.

I find giving women succession rights the most logical solution, but I wonder how this will affect Aiko, Kako, and Mako's life because I'm sure that the 'inner court' of princesses will be the most affected. None of us know their personal views of course, but there have been rumors in gossip magazines (that Prisma has kindly summarized for us) that Kako and Mako do not want to stay in the imperial family after marriage and have been raised to expect a life of privacy after marriage. Similarly, I recall on these forums rumors that the Empress is relieved Aiko will be able to live her life as a private citizen after marriage.

I recall in previous talks that this concern was raised. If female branches become a reality, I can't imagine the pressure Aiko, Kako, and Mako will be under to stay within the family rather than relinquish their royal status after marriage. I hope that the personal views of the princesses will be considered if they do end up crafting legislation/amending Imperial law. But I fear nonetheless that these princesses will be expected to stay within the imperial family after marriage regardless of their personal wishes.
I agree with you. If and when female branches become a reality (I agree it will not happen in the near future and most certainly not on the current Prime Minister's watch, but I could see it happening in the coming decades, especially if Prince Hisahito has difficulty finding a wife or producing sons), it would be kinder to also apply the new laws to any Mikasa and Takamado princesses who still remain part of the family, which hopefully would give enough flexibility for one or more of the Emperor Emeritus's granddaughters to opt for a private life if she wants it.
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