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  #1341  
Old 08-29-2021, 05:46 PM
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On August 27th, the government assigned Shigetaka Yamasaki to the newly established position of General Manager of Imperial Family Liaison and Coordination, responsible for planning and comprehensive coordination regarding stable succession.

Yamasaki will retire as Cabinet Office Administrative Vice Minister on September 1st. He previously headed the 26-member secretariat that oversaw the 2019 abdication and accession.

Source: Sankei

Jiji published an interview with Yamasaki on August 29. Warning: Google translation is weird. I tried cleaning it up.

When prompted about the expert panel's 2 proposals to secure the number of imperial families:

Y - When Prince Hisahito becomes emperor, [we] flattened the debate about the need for a supporting family. It's a well thought out idea.

Is the idea that the female members remain in the imperial family after marriage different from the "female palace" (female miyake/branch)?

Y - There is no definition of "female miyake". Princess Kazu, the younger sister of Emperor Komei and married to Tokugawa Iemochi, was not Tokugawa Kazu-no-miya, but remained the Naishinnō. Whether or not it is called the Miyake is not important in the current debate.

Are you keeping in mind Princess Mako whose engagement has been decided?

Y - This is an institutional and logical discussion, not on the premise of each person's proper noun.
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  #1342  
Old 08-30-2021, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
On August 27th, the government assigned Shigetaka Yamasaki to the newly established position of General Manager of Imperial Family Liaison and Coordination, responsible for planning and comprehensive coordination regarding stable succession.

Yamasaki will retire as Cabinet Office Administrative Vice Minister on September 1st. He previously headed the 26-member secretariat that oversaw the 2019 abdication and accession.

Source: Sankei
I don't quite follow in regards to the responsibilities of or need for his position. Aren't the discussions expected to be wrapped up in the near future?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
Jiji published an interview with Yamasaki on August 29. Warning: Google translation is weird. I tried cleaning it up.

When prompted about the expert panel's 2 proposals to secure the number of imperial families:

Y - When Prince Hisahito becomes emperor, [we] flattened the debate about the need for a supporting family. It's a well thought out idea.

Is the idea that the female members remain in the imperial family after marriage different from the "female palace" (female miyake/branch)?

Y - There is no definition of "female miyake". Princess Kazu, the younger sister of Emperor Komei and married to Tokugawa Iemochi, was not Tokugawa Kazu-no-miya, but remained the Naishinnō. Whether or not it is called the Miyake is not important in the current debate.

Are you keeping in mind Princess Mako whose engagement has been decided?

Y - This is an institutional and logical discussion, not on the premise of each person's proper noun.
Thank you for the paraphrase or translation!

Would a different name than "miyake" paint the proposal as more tolerable to some?

I fully agree with the government that the discussion ought to be about the institution rather than about Kei Komuro. If Mr. Komuro truly is unacceptable to become a member of the imperial family, that decision ought to be formally taken by the government, not social media and gossip magazines, with an official announcement that Mako will leave the imperial family on marriage to Kei regardless of the outcome of institutional discussions. As things stand, support for the current institutional rules is an excuse to avoid confronting the issue of Mako's engagement - and Mako's engagement to Kei is an excuse to avoid recognizing the legitimate arguments in support of change.
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  #1343  
Old 08-30-2021, 12:54 PM
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I find it interesting that Shigetaka Yamasaki chose to use Princess Kazu as an example, because her position, life, and influence are not at all representative of what a modern member of the Imperial family would be dealing with. It was a unique time period with unique circumstances, so I'm very curious about what parallels he has in mind when he makes that comparison.
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  #1344  
Old 08-30-2021, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Ista View Post
I find it interesting that Shigetaka Yamasaki chose to use Princess Kazu as an example, because her position, life, and influence are not at all representative of what a modern member of the Imperial family would be dealing with. It was a unique time period with unique circumstances, so I'm very curious about what parallels he has in mind when he makes that comparison.
Excellent question. Are there any theories on what message Mr. Yamasaki, or the interviewer, may have been sending with that question and answer?
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  #1345  
Old 09-07-2021, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
I don't quite follow in regards to the responsibilities of or need for his position. Aren't the discussions expected to be wrapped up in the near future?
The panel is wrapping up discussions so I assume Mr. Yamasaki will be leading the effort to get the panel's recommendations into legislation and possibly wrangling with the various factions to get it passed.

Plan emerges to preserve imperial family by retaining married women - Japan Today
Quote:
A plan has emerged within the Japanese government to enable female members of the imperial family to keep their royal status even if they marry a commoner, sources with knowledge of the matter said Sunday, thus maintaining their branches of the family.

[...]

The plan floated within the government intends to keep the branch numbers unchanged by retaining married female members or through the adoption of male heirs from former branches of the imperial family who abandoned their status in 1947, according to the sources.

That means Princess Aiko, 19, the only child of Emperor Naruhito, 61, and Princess Kako, 26, Princess Mako's sister and the other daughter of the emperor's brother Crown Prince Fumihito, 55, would likely remain in the imperial household even after marriage.

The plan also contemplates maintaining two other imperial family branches by allowing princesses to retain their status.

The aim of keeping the current branches is to create an environment in which the imperial family can support Prince Hisahito.

The government says it would seek to make sure the will of female members will be fully respected under the plan and carefully study its feasibility, the sources added.

[...]

The branch led by Emperor Naruhito's uncle Prince Hitachi, 85, third in line to the throne, would explore the adoption of male heirs from the 11 now-abolished collateral branches who share with the imperial family a common ancestor some 600 years ago as the prince and his wife have no children.

[...]
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  #1346  
Old 09-07-2021, 12:27 PM
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Interesting. It looks like it wouldn't be retroactive, so no princesses who've already married out would retain their status. That would include Mako, especially since she is not having any formal imperial ceremonies.

From my perspective it seems like a good idea so that Hisahito isn't theoretically an Imperial Family of one in his generation. There was a discussion here a while ago that said some of the princesses may not actually welcome this as they've been brought up with the expectation of working for the family until they become commoners and then beginning a new life and now this throws a huge question mark over that and even more scrutiny over who they marry.
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  #1347  
Old 09-07-2021, 01:03 PM
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Yes, I suppose it won't make it easier for them to find husbands.

They are going to remain royal while married to a husband who will remain a commoner and have a private career of some sort. - And that in a country and culture where status means a lot! And where no one are equal.
I imagine that can make things a little complicated.

Also, because what is such a royal/commoner family? Neither fowl nor fish.

An arch-conservative (who would incidentally vote for the current government...) may have problems marrying a woman who is officially and decisively well above her husband.
So that means the princesses may be targeted by men who see them as a means for a dramatic social advancement, I imagine.

The princesses may also have problems with their career should they wish to have one. Because while employing a real, official princess may be good for the company, it also means that she in status is way above her colleagues and superiors in a workplace where there is tradition for a strict hierarchy.
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  #1348  
Old 09-07-2021, 02:41 PM
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The branch led by Emperor Naruhito's uncle Prince Hitachi, 85, third in line to the throne, would explore the adoption of male heirs from the 11 now-abolished collateral branches who share with the imperial family a common ancestor some 600 years ago as the prince and his wife have no children.
This is the first instance of Prince Hitachi being explicitly identified as the potential adopter, isn't it? I wonder if he has been or will be consulted. It is not normal for the apolitical imperial family to be consulted on legislation, but surely the prince should have some say in the matter of who might become his son?

Am I right in assuming the two "plans" are mutually exclusive? If Prince Hitachi were to adopt a young adult man, the addition of that man and his wife to the imperial family would provide two working royals in the generation in between the Crown Prince and Prince Hisahito, which is the same number that retaining Aiko and Kako, without adding their husbands, would accomplish.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
The panel is wrapping up discussions so I assume Mr. Yamasaki will be leading the effort to get the panel's recommendations into legislation and possibly wrangling with the various factions to get it passed.
Do you believe then that the government is serious about attempting to pass legislation? Even if it is, couldn't the new prime minister who is scheduled to take over later this month simply shelve the plans?
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  #1349  
Old 09-09-2021, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ista View Post
I find it interesting that Shigetaka Yamasaki chose to use Princess Kazu as an example, because her position, life, and influence are not at all representative of what a modern member of the Imperial family would be dealing with. It was a unique time period with unique circumstances, so I'm very curious about what parallels he has in mind when he makes that comparison.
Maybe because she’s the last and known (if not only) princess who married a commoner but remained a naishinnō, since usually a naishinnō would be married off to miyake (if not remained unmarried and became nun). She was even given a choice to return to Kyoto after Iemochi’s death. There were several “princesses” who married commoners (such as the Tokugawa) but they were joō (女王), not naishinnō.

(There’s a case of Princess Yoshiko (daughter of Emperor Reigen) who married Tokugawa Ietsugu (the 7th*shōgun) but he died not long after and at that time she was only one years old so most likely it’s a marriage in name only and she might never leave the palace, thus not a good example of precedent.)

Kazu-no-miya can also be an example (or blanket statement) about “female miyake” or the husband becoming member of the Imperial family. I mean, imagine if it made Iemochi member of imperial family and if their marriage had produced son, he would be the heir of the shogunate and had a claim to the throne? Guaranteed the bakufu would make him the next emperor thus the shogunate smoothly usurping the Imperial family.

And in term of her position, life, and influence, in my opinion compare to the “modern” princess there’s no significant difference. Then it was the shogunate as oppose to PM and the Diet now; the bakufu financed the palace, now it’s the government (both from tax collected from the public/citizen). The palace was basically controlled by the kugyo as it by IHA now. Just like now, back then the princesses had to do some “royal duties” given to them (like participating in ritual). I don’t think in the future, there would be any expectation for the princesses to lead some kind of progressive movement or something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavs View Post
(...) There was a discussion here a while ago that said some of the princesses may not actually welcome this as they've been brought up with the expectation of working for the family until they become commoners and then beginning a new life and now this throws a huge question mark over that and even more scrutiny over who they marry.
Indeed, this will be the downside for the princesses. Or the alternative, their (prospective) husbands would be “picked” for them. Not necessarily an arranged marriage, but through something like omiai.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
This is the first instance of Prince Hitachi being explicitly identified as the potential adopter, isn't it? I wonder if he has been or will be consulted. It is not normal for the apolitical imperial family to be consulted on legislation, but surely the prince should have some say in the matter of who might become his son?
I don’t think he (or the Imperial family in general) would have much say in the adoption. It’s more like about choosing who would be the successor of the Hitachi branch than being the Prince Hitachi's son in traditional (father-son) sense.
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  #1350  
Old 10-15-2021, 07:43 PM
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Question: Do you think that there will be huge pressure on Prince Hisahito and his future wife to have a giant family in order to resolve any future Japanese succession issues? I'm thinking something like 5+ children here. This would be highly unusual for 21st century Japan, true, but if one is perceived to have a royal duty to do this, well, ...

Quite amazing that Prince Hisahito was the first male born in the Japanese imperial family since his own father Prince Akishino (Fumihito, Crown Prince of Japan) 41 years earlier, in 1965. In between that point, the Japanese imperial family had a whopping nine girls born in a row, if my calculations are correct. The odds of nine girls in a row being born to one extended family are around 1/(2**9) = 1/512, or about 0.2%.
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  #1351  
Old 10-15-2021, 08:10 PM
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It would not be unlikely.

Two reasons: To ensure there are enough spares around.
But just as much as an inspiration to the Japanese themselves, because their birthrate is dropping at an alarming rate! We are talking about a 60 % drop by the end of this century from the current population number! That's way to few to fill all the jobs needed to run an acceptable service level. - Even with automation and robots.
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  #1352  
Old 10-15-2021, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
It would not be unlikely.

Two reasons: To ensure there are enough spares around.
But just as much as an inspiration to the Japanese themselves, because their birthrate is dropping at an alarming rate! We are talking about a 60 % drop by the end of this century from the current population number! That's way to few to fill all the jobs needed to run an acceptable service level. - Even with automation and robots.
Japan's birth rate should eventually recover since fertility is partly heritable:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...ity%20outcomes.

But Japan's royal family has MUCH less of a margin of error!
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  #1353  
Old 10-16-2021, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Futurist View Post
Japan's birth rate should eventually recover since fertility is partly heritable:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...ity%20outcomes.

But Japan's royal family has MUCH less of a margin of error!
That article looks very general to me.

The prediction I have read says a drop in the population in Japan down to as little as around 45 million towards the end of this century.

It is already a problem now and has been for a number of years.

The post-war generations are now retiring, while at the same time fewer young Japanese marry and have children (let alone have sex, but that's another discussion). The reason, especially for the young men is the work-culture in Japan, where very long hours is the norm, combined with after-work social activities. That means the poor guys don't have time to find a girl! Nor do they have time to practice being around a girl.
As for the young women, marriage traditionally means she is going to be a housewife and mother full time. Goodbye career, goodbye earning her own money.
That's hardly an attractive prospect, especially for the well-educated women and when they can hardly find young men anyway who have time to court them - let alone know how... - it's no wonder they choose to remain single. And in some bizarre cases end up marrying themselves, so they at least have an experience that taste like fowl.

The national conservative government doesn't know what foot to stand on.
On one hand (or foot...) the traditional way of life ought to continue, with men eventually becoming fathers, husbands and breadwinners, while the women, become wives, mothers and keepers of the house. That's a neat idyllic image they so much would like to preserve.
On the other hand the employment situation in Japan will within a decade or so reach a level, where the country is forced to import foreign labor.
And Japan having always been an isolationist culture, such an influx of foreigners (several million) will "pollute" Japanese culture. A prospect that horrify the national conservatives - and I dare say most ordinary Japanese as well.

A critical drop in the population is not unique to Japan, it happens to countries like Italy as well. But here it's down to young people being unable to find a place to live on their own and within an acceptable distance to and from work. - A place they can afford to live in, that is. As a result many Italian young live at home well into their thirties.
That BTW is also the case in Japan, especially for young women. Many if not most live at home, more or less rent-free, with their mother as housekeeper and cook and dad as mostly absent breadwinner. They typically have a lot of money on their hands and plenty of freedom to spend them. Why should they give that up, to marry a budding executive?
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  #1354  
Old 10-16-2021, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Futurist View Post
Question: Do you think that there will be huge pressure on Prince Hisahito and his future wife to have a giant family in order to resolve any future Japanese succession issues? I'm thinking something like 5+ children here. This would be highly unusual for 21st century Japan, true, but if one is perceived to have a royal duty to do this, well, ...
Definitely there will be a huge pressure, especially from IHA. And that target probably is to build a giant family WITH sons, ideally 5+ sons.

I would even take a step back and say, there will be HUGE pressure on Prince Hisahito to marry a suitable, perfect wife (by IHA standard) in future.
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  #1355  
Old 10-16-2021, 06:53 AM
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And if Hisahito turns to be a GAY, what then?
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  #1356  
Old 10-16-2021, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Biri View Post
And if Hisahito turns to be a GAY, what then?
As long as he produces a heir, he can have relationships with men, as many as he wishes. The IHA is pragmatic enough: the procreation of the monarchy is in their very own existential interest.
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  #1357  
Old 10-16-2021, 07:13 AM
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Ah, they'll lend him a hand?

There is indeed always the option of reproducing without direct - ehh - physical contact. Presumably no one would ask into the details, if that was the case.
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  #1358  
Old 10-16-2021, 07:18 AM
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The low birth rate in Japan is not really about the lack of sex or infertility, but more like people prefer not to have kid because kids are expensive.

For one, I think Japan is the only country which has a "love hotel". It's basically a "hotel" where you pay hourly not to sleep but to have sex. They even have variety of rooms, from water bed to spinning bed. Then there's also something called enjo kōsai*, some will prefer to call it as "compensated dating" instead of prostitution. There's more about Japanese's sex life, but I won't go further because it will be out of topic.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enjo_kōsai

It may be true that married couple with kid will have less sex, partly because the sleeping arrangement. There's a saying of 川の字になって寝る basically means "sleep like the character for river (川)" in which a Japanese families sleep together in one room, on futon, side-by-side, mother and father, with the child between them, it looks like 川 (the right line "taller" like the father, the right is the second tallest, like the mother, and the child is sleeping safely between them).

I can write a long essay about how expensive kids are (not just childcare but also their future education) and why it's a huge factor in the low birthrate in Japan, but these articles summarise it quite well.

https://japantoday.com/category/feat...-give-birth-to

https://www.nippon.com/en/japan-data/h00522/amp/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
(...)
That BTW is also the case in Japan, especially for young women. Many if not most live at home, more or less rent-free, with their mother as housekeeper and cook and dad as mostly absent breadwinner. They typically have a lot of money on their hands and plenty of freedom to spend them. Why should they give that up, to marry a budding executive?
Many will, Muhler, believe me. Because being a housewife to a salary man with a stable job can mean living an "easy life" especially in the case of "husband the breadwinner, wife the breadkeeper". When the husband works from morning to late night, the wife can do whatever she wants. When she lived with her parents, her mother would nag her. So it's actually more freedom.

And the concern about the West "polluting" Japan culture is definitely not about the sex culture. In term of sex, Japan is not that "pure".
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  #1359  
Old 10-16-2021, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukari View Post
The low birth rate in Japan is not really about the lack of sex or infertility, but more like people prefer not to have kid because kids are expensive.

For one, I think Japan is the only country which has a "love hotel". It's basically a "hotel" where you pay hourly not to sleep but to have sex. They even have variety of rooms, from water bed to spinning bed. Then there's also something called enjo kōsai*, some will prefer to call it as "compensated dating" instead of prostitution. There's more about Japanese's sex life, but I won't go further because it will be out of topic.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enjo_kōsai

It may be true that married couple with kid will have less sex, partly because the sleeping arrangement. There's a saying of 川の字になって寝る basically means "sleep like the character for river (川)" in which a Japanese families sleep together in one room, on futon, side-by-side, mother and father, with the child between them, it looks like 川 (the right line "taller" like the father, the right is the second tallest, like the mother, and the child is sleeping safely between them).

I can write a long essay about how expensive kids are (not just childcare but also their future education) and why it's a huge factor in the low birthrate in Japan, but these articles summarise it quite well.

https://japantoday.com/category/feat...-give-birth-to

https://www.nippon.com/en/japan-data/h00522/amp/



Many will, Muhler, believe me. Because being a housewife to a salary man with a stable job can mean living an "easy life" especially in the case of "husband the breadwinner, wife the breadkeeper". When the husband works from morning to late night, the wife can do whatever she wants. When she lived with her parents, her mother would nag her. So it's actually more freedom.

And the concern about the West "polluting" Japan culture is definitely not about the sex culture. In term of sex, Japan is not that "pure".
Interesting.

As long as the government doesn't introduce major reforms to ensure more will be willing and able to have more children, the birthrate will drop.
The half-hearted encouragements they have so far come up with, won't matter.
I doubt the current government would be willing to implement paid maternity leave and heavily subsidized schooling and education. Even if it means having a majority of the housewives free to enter the job-market albeit on a part time basis.
Another matter is if Japan can actually afford implementing a major welfare reform in regards to families with children. We have to consider Japan's massive debt. Even if Japan, just like USA and China will not be allowed to go bankrupt.

I wasn't thinking of western culture "polluting" Japan. I was actually thinking of migrant workers "polluting" Japanese culture.
It is clear from people who live and work in Japan, that if you are a Bangladeshi of Philippine woman working say as maid, the tolerance level against you is orders of magnitudes lower then if you are a white man.
That is something Japan is forced to address, if major domestic reforms are not implemented - and soon.

I think you'd have to live in a cave in Tibet in order not to be familiar with aspects of the Japanese attitude towards sex, which is much more open and pragmatic compared to most other cultures.

So to return to Hisahito, and despite the irresistible puns, his sex-life, fertility and sexual orientation is of course a state matter.

I think the idea of concubines will be out of the question. That ship has long sailed.
But a gay Hisahito is not an insurmountably hindrance, in principle.
If we look at it from a purely reproductive angle. It should be possible to find someone who is willing to marry Hisahito, knowing that they will never have an intimate physical relationship. They could easily develop a close platonic relationship and indeed be good parents - in fact that might be more than likely, given the circumstances of their life.

But it comes with a price! An empress who in reality can never have a sexual relationship with anyone in her adult life... Unless she is a-sexual, that's gonna put a severe strain on her mental wellbeing.
And Hisahito who de facto can never have an open relationship with a man he happens to fall in love with...

I know, I know, it was done beforehand. But back then emperors could allow themselves to have several lovers, in fact that was expected and the imperial family lived in isolation. That is not the case today.
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  #1360  
Old 10-18-2021, 02:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
Interesting.

As long as the government doesn't introduce major reforms to ensure more will be willing and able to have more children, the birthrate will drop.
The half-hearted encouragements they have so far come up with, won't matter.
I doubt the current government would be willing to implement paid maternity leave and heavily subsidized schooling and education. Even if it means having a majority of the housewives free to enter the job-market albeit on a part time basis.
Another matter is if Japan can actually afford implementing a major welfare reform in regards to families with children. We have to consider Japan's massive debt. Even if Japan, just like USA and China will not be allowed to go bankrupt.

I wasn't thinking of western culture "polluting" Japan. I was actually thinking of migrant workers "polluting" Japanese culture.
It is clear from people who live and work in Japan, that if you are a Bangladeshi of Philippine woman working say as maid, the tolerance level against you is orders of magnitudes lower then if you are a white man.
That is something Japan is forced to address, if major domestic reforms are not implemented - and soon.

I think you'd have to live in a cave in Tibet in order not to be familiar with aspects of the Japanese attitude towards sex, which is much more open and pragmatic compared to most other cultures.

So to return to Hisahito, and despite the irresistible puns, his sex-life, fertility and sexual orientation is of course a state matter.

I think the idea of concubines will be out of the question. That ship has long sailed.
But a gay Hisahito is not an insurmountably hindrance, in principle.
If we look at it from a purely reproductive angle. It should be possible to find someone who is willing to marry Hisahito, knowing that they will never have an intimate physical relationship. They could easily develop a close platonic relationship and indeed be good parents - in fact that might be more than likely, given the circumstances of their life.

But it comes with a price! An empress who in reality can never have a sexual relationship with anyone in her adult life... Unless she is a-sexual, that's gonna put a severe strain on her mental wellbeing.
And Hisahito who de facto can never have an open relationship with a man he happens to fall in love with...

I know, I know, it was done beforehand. But back then emperors could allow themselves to have several lovers, in fact that was expected and the imperial family lived in isolation. That is not the case today.
Re: A gay Hisahito: He can always try using a male sex doll--or a male sex robot--I suppose!
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