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Japan enters uncharted waters over emperor's abdication

15 Comments
By Linda Sieg

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“Japan is in uncharted territory except for historians,” said Colin Jones, a professor at Doshisha University Law School.

I doubt no one except historians or the members of paid government panels will worry about this. The emperor is nice man whom I respect but seriously he only does ceremonial work and is not allowed by law to be involved with government matters. He's 80 years old; let the man rest!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They have a line of succession. I don't quite understand what all the fuss is about. I know it's never been done in Japan before, but I'm sure it'll be OK.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Too much handwringing for me. It's like the Japanese version of the Kardashians going on with this abdication turmoil.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

What I find interesting is that the abdication legislation could end up giving the imperial family the power to permanently extinguish the entire institution. Presumably all they would have to do is abdicate one by one until there was no-one left to take the throne. But I wonder whether the legislation will only allow emperors with a living heir to abdicate? or whether the sons of abdicated emperors could reinstate their claims to the throne etc?

It seems like alot of fuss about nothing but it's quite complicated to design a good system. You don't want a situation where a young childless emperor can threaten to abdicate and become a professional surfer in Hawaii unless he is paid more money.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I want to know what will happen to the holiday on December 23rd every year (Emperor's birthday), and if a new holiday will be added to accommodate the new emperor's birthday.

Let's hope we get both!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Too much handwringing for me. It's like the Japanese version of the Kardashians going on with this abdication turmoil.

Sorry but for some reason equaling the Emperor to them is somehow disrespectful to me. It's a Japanese problem, and while I agree with the idea that the details can be worked out after the fact, Japan does things their way.

The path of least resistance is not always the easiest one to take here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

what will happen to the holiday on December 23rd every year (Emperor's birthday)... Let's hope we get both!!

That's possible. The previous emperor's birthday (4/29) has been kept as a holiday after his death under another holiday name "Green Day", which later renamed as "Showa Day."

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The government might break with precedent and announce the name of the new era months before Emperor Akihito retires, to allow time for the switch to be made in official forms, calendars and computer programs, media have said.

So, what happens if , God forbid, he should die. Does everything come to a halt until switch is made in official forms, calendars and computer programs?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He's 80 years old; let the man rest!

In the beginning I thought the same. But I am discovering all those "problems" popping up for a seemingly very simple issue. And I am very intrigued and actually enjoying those small details over which Japanese liberals and conservatives are debating. It's fascinating.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe we should consider the man behind the title and all ow him a little relaxation-goodness knows he deserves it!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's possible. The previous emperor's birthday (4/29) has been kept as a holiday after his death under another holiday name "Green Day", which later renamed as "Showa Day."

The Mejii Emperor's birthday is now Culture Day, November 3rd, Showa as you noted is still here, and it is possible, but not a guarantee, as there is no holiday for Taisho now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's not uncharted waters. Emperors and empresses have been abdicating for over a thousand years. Two empresses actually abdicated, then became empresses again. If a pope can quit, the emperor shouldn't have any problems at all. Except for the old right-wing oyajis who are shocked! Shocked to discover an emperor wants to abdicate.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Jgov, take the advice from Elsa frlm Frozen,

"Let him go, let him go!"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Prime Ministers can quit the job for whatever lame reason they find even within weeks in the job but the 83 years old emperor can't. Give the guy a break already, I'm sure he earned it (unlike PM's).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Prime Ministers can quit the job for whatever lame reason they find even within weeks in the job but the 83 years old emperor can't. Give the guy a break already, I'm sure he earned it (unlike PM's).

Come on, let's get real here and quit searching for analogies or comparisons that end up coming across as ignorant of the situation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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