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Mako's marriage casts shadow on imperial succession debate

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"For the past few years, incorrect information was treated as if it was true, and I am very saddened that Mako-san had problems on her physical and mental health due to defamation.” — Kei Komuro, 26 October 

Perhaps the press should turn their focus inward and examine this assertion of “incorrect information” and “defamation” — i.e., the media’s own vicious conduct — instead of continually punching down on Komuro for his mother’s alleged poor behavior.

23 ( +27 / -4 )

Oscar Wilde wrote: We used to have the rack. Now we have the press. That was in the 1890s. Social media is the press on steroids. Little good comes from haters and trolls.

23 ( +26 / -3 )

The succession debate has been dragging on for years. I'm baffled why Japan can't embrace women as potential heirs to the throne. But then again, this is Japan. Still a deeply conservative society "run by old men for old men." (For example, it took years for Japan to allow the birth control pill; but only a matter of months to allow viagra.) I think the royal families should select the most suitable candidate, not based on gender or position in the family, but on suitability to the role. Now its all down to Hisahito -- one can imagine the pressures on his bride to be. A very simple vow: "I will make male babies" -- pity the female offspring from that union...

13 ( +22 / -9 )

Everything about this “problem” is just so stupid on every level.

a) Its a stupid problem to begin with (we are running out of guys to sit on the big magic chair and wave politely at crowds)

b) The reason its become a problem is stupid (No way, no girls on the big magic chair, that would ruin everything).

c) The proposed solutions are stupid (we need to track down some guys whose ancestors sat in the magic chair 600 years ago because the only thing worse than the idea of a girl on the big magic chair is the threat that this one guy whose mom owes like 40k to her ex and is shady as it gets sitting on the big magic chair).

I just hate everything about this debate and everyone in it.

19 ( +26 / -7 )

It's like the press wants to keep rubbing it in that the royal family are a breed of people high above us just mere mortals with their usage of the word "commoner". Are we living in middle ages?

13 ( +21 / -8 )

And this time and age with movements like theb#metoo flashing out all the inequalities and past problems and trying to find solutions..... The Japanese press still is pondering along the hard line right whether to allow a woman to keep her status in a public position that actually means little to most of the "commoners" aka the rest of us.

Maybe it's time for an update - not only for the royalty in Japan but also for the news

10 ( +15 / -5 )

I know, the sky is falling, but I predict that someone ascend to the throne when necessary.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

"The government stance to drag its feet on the debate (on imperial succession) all these years will likely haunt us," he said.

There are more pressing matters that the gov drags its feet on than imperial succession. The population drop and increasing income gap between rich and poor are far more pressing matters that threaten the nation. This stupid comment just shows how skewed the priorities in this country are.

5 ( +15 / -10 )

"In some respects, we have let the public decide the appropriateness of their marriage. It will come back and bite us in the future," a senior agency official said.

How about you get out of their lives and just let them live?? The stress of control over their lives might be the source of the problems you are having now.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

rainyday 07:11 am JST

Everything about this “problem” is just so stupid on every level.

I just hate everything about this debate and everyone in it.

When you have powerful and influential people who believe the hereditary monarch of their country is literally the semi-divine descendant of the Sun God, you're always going to have problems.

https://apjjf.org/2019/09/Breen.html

6 ( +15 / -9 )

Well that’s two I think three (known) female members of the imperial family with mental health issues. Think the story should focus on the toxic atmosphere the IHA and government have created for female members.

‘As for drafting in males from defunct family branches, what if they say no! They have a life and may not like the idea of being supervised their entire lives.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

there's no debate on a decades old "problem" that is solved in less than a second with allowing women to ascend to the throne. Nothing to do with Mako who is happy to leave such a dreary place for New York

5 ( +10 / -5 )

I find it absolutely DELICIOUS that these old conservative's sexism is likely going to cause the end of the imperial line that they worship so very, very much. Just DELICIOUS.

3 ( +14 / -11 )

Mako’s marriage does not cast a dark shadow on anything other than the IHA and ultra conservatives attitude towards women. The media persistence in using Mako’s relationship as a scapegoat is appalling.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Mako does not want to waste her life playing a role in an outdated and now meaningless institution. We should let it fade away. Most people aren't really interested in it anyway.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

I'd like to know what percentage of Japanese even give a damn about the Imperial Family. I don't think I've ever talked to any who do... (not that I ever took a poll, mind you)

6 ( +12 / -6 )

As long as they keep their old fashioned ways, nothing will change. Let it shrink to extinction. Too costly for the taxpayers to keep paying for their extravagant lifestyles with all those lavish properties and shiny cars and hundreds of staff plus security. And they are all totally unproductive!

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Perhaps it's time to lay the concept of "royalty" to rest.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

They, the privileged members of royal families, and us, the commoners. Time to put that history to bed.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

When you have powerful and influential people who believe the hereditary monarch of their country is literally the semi-divine descendant of the Sun God, you're always going to have problems.

https://apjjf.org/2019/09/Breen.html

Its kind of funny that the origin story of the de facto head of state of a G7 member with the world's 3rd largest economy is about equally as plausible as Scientology's origin story for thetans (spaceships driven by an evil Galactic warlord crashed on Earth 75 million years ago, etc etc).

Not "ha ha" funny, but more like "Its funny that we don't talk more about that fact."

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I say just let it be & let time run its course & let it dissolve itself

I really feel for Hisahito, only 15, his life is going to get worse & worse over time, any woman that ""chooses"" to be by his side would be extremely lucky NOT to lose her mind...

Would be best to let the current emperor be the last & let the Imperial Family all go after his time is done....

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Currently, the three heirs in line to succeed 61-year-old Emperor Naruhito are his brother Crown Prince Fumihito, 55, his nephew Prince Hisahito, 15, who is the crown prince's son, and the emperor's uncle Prince Hitachi, 85.

By revising the succession law, Princesses Aiko and Kako would be able to join and strengthen the line. A very simple surviving strategy.

> But conservatives, who place the highest priority on the male line of succession, are very concerned that the proposal to allow women to retain their royal status will lead to a reigning empress or an emperor descending from a female member of the imperial family.

This succession rule cannot survive without the concubinage. Note that the majority of Japanese historical emperors had been born out of the sublines or wedlock. Also note that it is the modern emperor and the Imperial House who decided to abolish the concubinage altogether. No chance to resume it. The public won't allow for it.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

They should build an Imperial android powered by cutting edge A.I. to take the position. It would never grow old, and never die. It could serve forever like a true diety.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

What's the big deal about 150 Million Yen? That's just 1,313,782.50 U.S. Dollars. A young dynamic couple working as public relations in worth that. Talk about arguing over nickels and dimes. That's freaking pitiful. A I won't even talk about the who misogynist angle about her being a Princess and not a Prince. But what the hell they're going extinct anyway so who cares.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

The problem is not having a woman as empress. that has happened in the past. There problem is the line of succession which by tradition and history in Japan is according to agnatic succession and kinship, in other words patrilineal descent. A woman defended according to the rules of agnatic kinship may sit on the throne, but her children, if the are by a spouse who is not agnatic imperial descendent, may not, regardless of sex.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Now its all down to Hisahito

No pressure young man.

Just make sure you don’t get some unavoidable terminal disease, or get involved in a fatal accident, or become infertile, or god forbid reveal you are gay - because your country doesn’t have the foresight to make sensible decisions.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

rainyday 07:11 am JST

Everything about this “problem” is just so stupid on every level.

I just hate everything about this debate and everyone in it.

When you have powerful and influential people who believe the hereditary monarch of their country is **literally the semi-divine descendant of the Sun God, you're always going to have problems.**

https://apjjf.org/2019/09/Breen.html

To say exactly, it's Amaterasu, The Sun of Goddess. The imperial line got started at the very outset with the maternal line by the female godly divine entity! The ultra right-wings or chauvinists who stress millennia-old traditions including legendary parts of the imperial history have been contradictory, ignoring this inconvenient point, intendedly or not.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

A woman defended according to the rules of agnatic kinship may sit on the throne

Which would very clearly seem to contradict the wording of the 1947 Imperial House Law, which is the actual law that decided these things, and states in no uncertain terms:

*Article 1**. The Imperial Throne shall be succeeded to by a male offspring in the male line belonging to the Imperial Lineage.*

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So, if i'm reading it right, the panel's recommendation is to allow royal women who marry commoners to stay in the royal family, but not allow their kids to be royal?

So they have picked the one option that doesn't solve the problem at all?! How does that help?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Rules can change, as they always do. What’s wrong today can be right tomorrow. They are a guideline for the present not a rule for the future.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@rainyday

The historically documented history of the Imperial Family is well documented since the 29th Emperor Kinmei. Beyond that that is is historical and of course archeological evidence going back to the 9th Emperor Kaika. It is only beyond that point in which we enter into prehistoric territory.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

@noriahojanen

The legendary and mythical kinship history of the Imperial Family and of Japan does not begin with Amaterasu. It begins with Izanagi and Izanami.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I don't see much real "debate" about the Imperial succession, to be honest. Just a lot of "papers, reports, commissions" and the like. The People can express their views, but, remember how the People's Views were treated in relation to the Olympics? ...Yeah...

Besides, the Imperial House now has an Heir (who is 17 years younger than Britain's, by the way)...and it has a Spare (24 years younger than "His Royal Highness", Balding Billy Windsor). That's good enough for most dynasties to continue plodding on, correct?

In just 15 short years or so, when Prince Hisahito is in his mid to late 20s, there will be severe pressure for him to marry and have numerous offspring, preferably boys. I have no doubt that a child of an Heir Apparent who was able to sire three children over a 20 year period can in turn have at least one child of his own. If not? Then we'll have a real Debate. ....Or not! (I bet we'll still be in the Reiwa Era even then, fortune permitting.)

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Now its all down to Hisahito

No pressure young man.

Just make sure you don’t get some unavoidable terminal disease, or get involved in a fatal accident, or become infertile, or god forbid reveal you are gay - because your country doesn’t have the foresight to make sensible decisions.

That's exactly my point & my urgent call, too. The current succession arrangement seems to me super-optimistic or totally dismissive to any contingencies involving the young heir. The "male-only" chauvinist conservatives argue on the defensive that everything must be alright, nothing bad will never happen to Prince Hisahito. They might also want to imply that a slight thinking of bad scenarios is disrespectful, subject to lese-majeste (no such law exists in Japan!).

Adding to the scenarios above, what if Prince Hisahito wants to quit the imperial family to become a commoner, just following suit of his older sister Mako? What about his sudden abdication just like that of Edward VIII of Britain? We have virtually no backups.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@rainyday

The 1947 Imperial House Law will have to be changed, - in accordance with history and cultural practice. The 1947 Law is particularly troublesome because it removed the collateral branches of the family, and thus reduced the possibility of regeneration. However if members of collateral branches are adopted into the main branch that would help solve the problem. However the tendency towards morganatic marriages will not stop with this simple measure. For a regeneration of the Imperial Family to occur at least some of the collateral branches must be reinstated permitting legitimate marriage of equals and guaranteeing legitimacy and survival.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Royal family exist in many countries. And it's common for female members to retain their titles after marriage. It's high time for a modern Japan to change. Princess Aiko should be the future Queen, her father's Successor. And all the Princesses should have the rights to keep their titles.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

in the end....

How does this impact your life?

Who cares?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Seesaw7

Royal Families exist in many countries, but in most of the rest of the world they have fallen into decadence and disrepute and this has led to revolutions in which said royal families have been killed. The Imperial Family of Japan survives, precisely because they are held to very strict standards and rules. If they become lax they will end up like Europe and the West.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

The legendary and mythical kinship history of the Imperial Family and of Japan does not begin with Amaterasu. It begins with Izanagi and Izanami.

The godly couple predated the imperial house, and are considered the legendary founders of Japan Archipelagos.

The problem is not having a woman as empress. that has happened in the past. There problem is the line of succession which by tradition and history in Japan is according to agnatic succession and kinship, in other words patrilineal descent. A woman defended according to the rules of agnatic kinship may sit on the throne, but her children, if the are by a spouse who is not agnatic imperial descendent, may not, regardless of sex.

There had been several disruptions and succession crises during the ancient period, and nobody can prove whether the agnatic succession has actually lasted up to the current imperial house. Need a DNA test? Many past emperors were born out of wedlock while much unlike the continental counterpart there never existed eunuch systems in the Japanese court to ensure the authenticity of male bloodline.

Even though the continuity is proven, the tradition had long taken form by luck or accident. The prohibition of maternal line members from the throne first appeared and was pronounced in the code during the Meiji period.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The irony of all of this is that by clinging to their misogynistic and patriarchal ways, they're going to snuff themselves out. Whittle down into extinction if you will. No women; no babies. Simple fact of life.

Also, must they keep using the word, "commoner"? What are we in, the Dark Ages?

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Yeah ok Gil…

Either the Japanese imperial family modernises or they too will become obsolete.

I’ve said it before, the Imperial Family represents the people of Japan, it should be put to the people (not the conservative oyajis) in a referendum about this female succession business.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@hitobito

One and a spare ...

(who may not even marry), eligible descendants of Emperor Meiji doesn't sound very solid to me.

His contemporary, George V of England, has 63 descendants in line for the throne.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Succession_to_the_British_throne

Japan must be doing something wrong.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It would be fitting to see this sexist intransigence cause the downfall of the royal family.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

@noriahojanen

It is true that there have been disruptions and succession crises during the ancient period, I think it is safe to say that given the vigilance which the Imperial Family lived under, with very little to no privacy, we can have faith in the documented history. Beyond that, with more and more genetic history being done on the Japanese people in general, it should be possible to carry out genetic research on the Imperial Family.

As for the prohibition on matrilineal descent, indeed, the Meiji Reforms sought to harmonize Japan with the West, where agnatic succession was also the rule until very recently. The relaxation of the rules has not solved any problems in the West though, but created more. If the tradition can not be continued, it is best to make a clean break of it than to have a decadent and costly institution. The purpose of having rules is to provide stability and continuity, which Japan has thankfully enjoyed more of than most of the world, including it counterparts on the Asian continent and certainly in the West.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Perhaps women will leave the Imperial Family en masse leaving the men to marry each other?

If nothing more, it would solve the problem of succession.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

What's really interesting about this is the fact that any child of theirs born in the USA will have dual US/Japan citizenship. Imagine that - a US citizen great-great-grandchild of the last Japanese emperor to be revered as a living god. And when a child of this couple reaches the age of 22, will the Japanese government force the child to choose between the two countries' passports, or make a special exception but continue to "require" other Japanese citizens with dual citizenship to give up one of them?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@AustPaul

I agree with you. Ultimately it is up to the Japanese people to decide, if they retain the Imperial system, and how it is governed. As per the postwar constitution the Japanese Emperor is the living symbol of the Japanese nation and of the unity of the Japanese people. Only the the Japanese nation and people can decide.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@happyhere

According the post war constitution the Imperial Family is comprised solely of the descendants of Emperor Heisei, not Emperor Meiji. Collateral branches of the family were cut off. Hence the present trouble.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It is true that there have been disruptions and succession crises during the ancient period, I think it is safe to say that given the vigilance which the Imperial Family lived under, with very little to no privacy, we can have faith in the documented history. Beyond that, with more and more genetic history being done on the Japanese people in general, it should be possible to carry out genetic research on the Imperial Family.

I don't like so much "genes talks"... The imperial history, tradition and legitimacy can never be scaled down to the question of what genes and who possess. As a lot of princes/male heirs had left the court over time to become commoners, many present-day Japanese must hold imperial genes in a varying degree. Can they claim the throne carrying DNA results? If the answer is no, what is actually the border, what else distinguishes the imperial family from ordinary Japanese? The "male (gene) only" proponents completely fail to address this point. The male-only succession rule is a modern-time invention; genetic reasoning for imperial legitimacy is quite new and already failing.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Princess Mako has to become a commoner to marry a commoner, product of stringent rules of the imperial family.

Emperor Naruhito has only a daughter. Chances are rules may be changed to allow her to ascend to reign as a queen..

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@noriahojanen

Monarchy and the legitimacy of monarchies do not operate according to the rules of popular democracy. If they are to act as popular democracies they fail. So factors granting legitimacy have to be logical and rule based on the principles of what monarchy is and what it offers to the society and nation. Otherwise just have an elected head of state. Even if matrilineal descent is to be considered, the Imperial Family is too small for the Imperial system to remain viable.Female members will not be able to marry each other, and morganatic marriages produce many problems. Europe has continually relaxed the rules, and things get worse the more the rules are relaxed. It does not make sense for Japan to follow the Western example. Better to just do away with the Imperial system altogether.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What's really interesting about this is the fact that any child of theirs born in the USA will have dual US/Japan citizenship. 

I doubt that the imperial family would allow Mako's future child to be born in the US for this very reason.

She may have been forced to leave the family, but they will still have a huge control over her life in specific situations like this one.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Stop this mystical justification for having human meat as some sort of feel good factor. They are people who are trapped by their birth into a antiquated system that abuses them. It’s not anything to be proud of. Panders in a zoo have more choices then these humans.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Just make sure you don’t get some unavoidable terminal disease, or get involved in a fatal accident, or become infertile, or god forbid reveal you are gay

You can bet the farm that the lad is and will be watched like a hawk by the Imperial House. Not for him any mixing with potential disease vectors (aka the hoi pollloi), no dangerous activities like cycling, rock climbing, scuba diving, no mixing with undesirables or bad influences in private. His life will be (and probably already is) a very well insulated and cushioned hell.

I really feel for Hisahito, only 15, his life is going to get worse & worse over time, any woman that ""chooses"" to be by his side would be extremely lucky NOT to lose her mind...

Agreed. One look at the fate of females in the royal family (those without any mental issues are in the minority) would put off all but the totally infatuated. Never mind losing her mind once she was in the trap, she would have to be crazy to agree to subject herself to ministrations of the Imperial House in the first place. Or perhaps made an offer she couldn't refuse?

Monarchies of any kind have no place today

For all their faults, I think they do have their place. As a titular head of state, a hereditary monarch seems preferable to an elected president, the choice of which seems to depend on how much money is spent in the election and has nothing to do with he quality of the individual. I think the head of state should be chosen by lot, to serve for a period of say 5 years, then bring in the next one. A person chosen at random from the general public is surely more representative of 'the people' than someone who was born and lives in a gilded cage.

Emperor Naruhito has only a daughter. Chances are rules may be changed to allow her to ascend to reign as a queen..

Has anyone asked her opinion? She's probably banking on being able to escape through marriage in a few year's time (Assuming the kerfuffle over Mako's departure doesn't put any potential suitors right off)

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I'm Japanese but I honestly could not care less about the royal family. The idea of monarchy is such an outdated tradition that does not serve much purpose in this time and age. Yes, they are they symbol of the Japanese people and country yada yada yah... The only thing representing me is myself and I look up to people who have deserved recognitions through achievements and merit... not simply because they were born into some special family.

Just my opinions.... I'll probably get a ton of down votes.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Well -China and Korean history both says that the origin of the Japanese royal family was a princess that brought a magatama from an ancient kingdom on the Korean peninsula.

A neighbor kingdom of the Korean peninsula had decided to invade and annex the Japanese islands and needed help so the neighbors sent their princess to be married to solidify the bonding of the two ancient kingdoms and new owners of Japan .

She brought the magatama to prove she was true royalty.

The legend of amaterasu and izanagi is a very prevalent and almost identical myth of creation story in many different cultures and tribes and not unique to Japan.

Besides are the Japanese royal family really imperial after ww2

And a woman to sit at the chrysanthemum throne seems more appropriate anyway.

The royal family are just a figurehead these days .

Thanks to emperor hirohito the 124th, Japan will never regain the prestige it had before his reign of terror.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Which came first the chicken or the egg? Even the very first emperor had a mother.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

"(who may not even marry)..." lol. You've determined the future of a 15 year old, against what the VAST majority of humans elect to do (get married, have children)? Okay...

"His contemporary, George V of England, has 63 descendants in line for the throne." -But that's not what mattered, now, was it? George's heir, Edward VIII, had exactly ZERO children...and he abandoned the crown after less than two years to marry a thrice-divorced American...to have exactly Zero children. In the end, the Heir turned out to be the Spare in George VI...how exactly is this any different from Japan again, other than through a fraternal rather than parental/child relationship? Heir, Spare.

"Japan must be doing something wrong." When compared to England, who excluded from the crown THE direct heir to a sitting King in favour of a country-disdaining Dutchman, just because the homegrown boy was of the wrong religion? Like when the UK passed the crown from the "domestic" Queen Anne to...a non-English speaking, UK-disdaining Hessian George who had never set foot in the country before...because Anne had no surviving children and there were no more domestic heirs left?

Oh, and Crown Prince Chuck has long made plain his intentions to restrict, not enlarge, the official size of his "Family" once on the Coronation Chair. Because Heir, Spare is really all you need to avoid any "crisis".

"Japan must be doing something wrong." LOL. If your example country is the "right" way, then Japan can hardly be seen as worse!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Would love to see Hisahito come out as gay or something, I wonder how all these conservatives would take that :P

5 ( +9 / -4 )

According the post war constitution the Imperial Family is comprised solely of the descendants of Emperor Heisei, not Emperor Meiji. Collateral branches of the family were cut off. Hence the present trouble.

This is not quite accurate. The Constitution itself just states that the throne is dynastic and says that everything about succession will be decided by the Imperial House Law, which is where all the detailed rules are found.

This distinction isn't splitting hairs. If it were explicitly stated in the Constitution that way, the only way to change it would be to amend the constitution which is extraordinarily difficult, almost impossible, to do. Because it is instead set out in the Imperial House Law, which is a piece of normal legislation, it can be amended simply through a majority vote in both houses of the Diet. That is politically difficult, but much easier than amending the Constitution would be.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@cleo

Thankyou so much your comment concerning the titular state of head made me laugh brought tears to my eyes

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Richard OgleToday  10:25 am JST

Monarchies of any kind have no place today. They are merely a way for wealthy families to attract attention. While they do offer some philanthropy and can utilize their platform for good things they are a financial burden on the nations in which they live that have to provide security. The UK spends over $70M on the royal family alone. Most of that is security, travel, and construction.

Google this

does the royal family make a profit for the uk

and find out if the UK Royal Family is a burden on the UK economy or not.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Google this

does the royal family make a profit for the uk

and find out if the UK Royal Family is a burden on the UK economy or not.

My Google search doesn't really allow me to draw much conclusion on that point. On the one hand it seems the royal family does in fact generate a lot of income which contributes to the UK economy. On the other it seems that most of this is explicable by the fact that the royal family is really really rich and by virtue of that fact of course they generate a lot of income which contributes to the size of the UK economy. In other words their contribution stems from them being rich, not from them being royal per se. The "royal" contribution seems a bit harder to pin down and quantify but is mainly related to income from tourism and selling knick knacks like collector spoons with crowns on them and that sort of thing. Which I guess contributes some money, but probably if their wasn't a royal family the people buying that crap would be spending their money on other celebrity merch and the net effect on the UK economy would be zero.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

rainydayToday  04:27 pm JST

My Google search doesn't really allow me to draw much conclusion on that point.

Ah well, you obviously see only what you want to see. Anyone else who can read and and properly comprehend what they are reading will easily be able to separate the direct contributions from the indirect.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Ah well, you obviously see only what you want to see. 

If you want people to engage with something specific, you should provide them with more to go on than a vague direction to Google something. But I guess doing so would rob you of the ability to sanctimoniously pontificate about the inability of people who take you up on your suggestion to only find the thing you wanted them to see.

Anyone else who can read and and properly comprehend what they are reading will easily be able to separate the direct contributions from the indirect.

One would think anyone with the ability to read and properly comprehend what they are reading would easily be able to respond directly to the points being raised rather than simply make snide, idiotic comments.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I've given Kuruki an up-vote even though I'm a moderate monarchist, and that's because, unlike most of the other commentators, he gets to the essential issue. If a nation is to have a hereditary monarchy, such questions as "sexism" go out the window. A royal family is not an equal-opportunity employer. We commoners must treat our children equally, regardless of sex or age, and we cannot expect others to bow and cheer when we pass just because we wave at them or wear funny-looking hats. Royals, on the other hand, must accept the no doubt daunting fact that they do not enjoy our freedoms. His Imperial Majesty, whom I met a few times before he took on his current job, is clearly an extraordinary gentleman, who fully understands the heavy burden that he must bear. Alas, the same cannot be said, he seems, for some of his relatives. If they wind up taking over, I'll be inclined to agree with my compatriot Kuruki.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

BakabonPapa:

Imagine that - a US citizen great-great-grandchild of the last Japanese emperor to be revered as a living god.

Soon or later, female lines of Japanese Emperor will be accepted. So, what's interesting is that it is now possible for a US citizen (a descendant of the new couple) to become an Emperor of Japan in future. Another interesting possibility is that a descendant of Japanese imperial family can become a US President someday.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In my comment, I meant "It seems," not "he seem!" Mea culpa

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

All that has to be done is to reactivate the cadet branches of the royal family. Why is there resistance to this? It isn't as if they have to be given salaries or security ... is this move too regressive for modern Japan? If they want to be progressive, then adding females to the line of succession is the answer.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

All of the above was avoidable.

The very definition of train wreak failure to maintain a positive public image, so securing the reputation of the The Chrysanthemum Throne.

It rank negligence, appalling reluctance to engage with the realities of the twenty first century.

Had gender roles been reversed and this had been a male monarch of state, the circumstances would be without doubt been unrecognizable to the manner in which Mako Komuro had to endure a humiliating press conference. Apologizing for fall love?.

The IHA has to be publicly beaten senseless upside-down.

Had this not been the fact, the politically poisonous festering conservative old guard, were not lurking in the background pulling the strings.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

noriahojanen

Can they claim the throne carrying DNA results? If the answer is no, what is actually the border, what else distinguishes the imperial family from ordinary Japanese?

DNA does not determine. Lineage does.

Japan keeps official linage records, not only for the imperial family but for everybody. It's called "Kosaki" (戸籍), which you can get a copy of your own lineage record from your local government. It's a family tree, showing who was one's father and mother. The imperial family has similar records called "Kotofu" (皇統譜) . So you can easily tell who is closest to the current Emperor.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Richard Ogle

Monarchies of any kind have no place today. They are merely a way for wealthy families to attract attention... The UK spends over $70M on the royal family alone.

I suspect many Britons regard their imperial family more than just "wealthy families to attract attention". Otherwise, why do they spend millions? According to a recent survey, 61% of Britons support the imperial family in comparison to 24% who oppose it. There must be reasons why they want to keep it as is.

In Japan, 74% support Japanese imperial family and 7% oppose it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It's simple...Japan may have to return to having an Empress on the throne as it was in old times. Public opinion isn't relevant although I get why they didn't want Mako to marry the man bun.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Prior to genetic testing no child could be totally certain who his father was it had to be taken on trust. Only the mother was certain. So any claims of unbroken succession are purely convenient myths.

That a dynasty purportedly founded by a female deity can "only" be continued through the male line is rank hypocrisy.

In a purported democracy this issue needs to be openly debated and ultimately decided by reference to the will of the people of Japan, not a cabal of "selected" so called and self appointed experts!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

englisc aspyrgend

Prior to genetic testing no child could be totally certain who his father was it had to be taken on trust. Only the mother was certain. So any claims of unbroken succession are purely convenient myths.

The succession of Japanese imperial family is based on lineage, not DNA. It is based on records, Kotofu (皇統譜), about who was one's father and was mother.

What's important is the records (story), not science. There have been always voices in Japanese history questioning validity of the lineage, but those voices have been largely ignored. Because it does not matter. What matters is the transmission of values in telling and retelling of national stories, which formulate a national identity.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

englisc aspyrgend

In a purported democracy this issue needs to be openly debated and ultimately decided by reference to the will of the people of Japan, not a cabal of "selected" so called and self appointed experts!

The survey reports that about 74% of Japanese people want to keep the current imperial system as is. Only 7% want to abolish it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

CaptDingleheimer

I'd like to know what percentage of Japanese even give a damn about the Imperial Family.

The recent survey shows that the 7% of Japanese people want to abolish it. The 4% want to increase the authority of the imperial family. The 74% of Japanese people support the imperial family just as is.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Nator

So, if i'm reading it right, the panel's recommendation is to allow royal women who marry commoners to stay in the royal family, but not allow their kids to be royal?

So they have picked the one option that doesn't solve the problem at all?! How does that help?

Benefits are that it alleviates (1) the burden of imperial duties and (2) treats female members same as male ones who marry commoners. It is also one of the easier steps for the most conservative to accept in changing the tradition and considered to be a stepping stone to re-establish female throne.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What's kind of hilarious about the right wing's insistence on these limitations to preserve the purity and sanctity of the imperial line is that Akihito already admitted years ago that the imperial family has Korean blood, so at this point they're basically just putting a band-aid on a bullet wound.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If I could name the next to sit on the throne I would choose Princess Kako. But we are all just arguing over very privileged people and how much more privileged one should be as opposed to some other. None of that makes life any better for the average Japanese person.

I admit it is fun to gossip over.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Abolish the Imperial Household Agency and all problems will be solved.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The grounds of the Imperial Palace are the most valuable property on the entire planet.

Reducing the size of the Royal organization and capitalizing on development of these idle assets would do much to boost the economy and relieve the burden on Japan's homeless.

A token Royal presence could be retained, for ceremonial , diplomatic, and for promoting trade and tourism.

Modernizing the functions of the Royal family would keep them relevant, rather than just a drain on the taxpayer.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

DNA does not determine. Lineage does.

Japan keeps official linage records, not only for the imperial family but for everybody. It's called "Kosaki" (戸籍), which you can get a copy of your own lineage record from your local government. It's a family tree, showing who was one's father and mother. The imperial family has similar records called "Kotofu" (皇統譜) . So you can easily tell who is closest to the current Emperor.]

I know, I tease DNA argument. If the linage ultimately matters, the closest to the current Emperor and most relevant successor should be Princess Aiko, daughter of Naruhito. The current "male-only" succession rule is conflicting with the Kotofu tradition.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In Japan, 74% support Japanese imperial family and 7% oppose it.

True. In some other surveys and time-series panel studies, the patterns have been solid and consistent in favor of the royal family. More significantly, the vast majority support the female Emperor and women's more active roles as well as status for the sake of public duties.

The current male-only succession rule doesn't reflect public opinions. It doesn't reflect the millennia-old imperial tradition either.

Another interesting possibility is that a descendant of Japanese imperial family can become a US President someday.

I like that scenario :) and that's exactly the American dream & core tradition. The Komuros' offspring could at least become a Senator from NY, maybe a Democrat :)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The current male-only isuccession rule doesn't reflect public opinions. It doesn't reflect the millennia-old imperial tradition either.

If you believe in the mythology you cannot be against allowing an Empress once again. After all Amaterasu was female.

The Komuros' offspring could at least become a Senator from NY, maybe a Democrat :)

Makes sense - living off the government for thousands of years and all that. Make them serfs get to work to support the Limousine Liberal lifestyle :)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is not a debate. It's a pathetic excuse to prolong medieval misogyny. But, typical of the Japanese philosophy that men rule and women are subservient second-class citizens. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that women in Japan are still whipped behind closed doors. Nothing like a good lashing, eh?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I love that they call it a "debate". It's like debates at a Chinese presidential election.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is nobody else business. Please leave them to their own decisions.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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