politics

Panel meets to study emperor's possible abdication

27 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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27 Comments
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I think not just this emperor but any emperor should be allowed to abdicate. If they end up with no heir, they just need to go up the family tree and down again to find a direct male descendant, if that rule remains in force. Alternatively they could allow female descendants and female emperors (or empresses). Or just scrap the whole system. Any of these outcomes would be totally acceptable and the current rules just create unnecessary problems.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Let the man retire.

I can't think of anything more ironic than the symbol of Japan, the emperor, not being allowed to leave the office.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The Emperor and Empress and old and sick, let them enjoy the rest of their days together in peace.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Why do they keep calling it an "expert panel" when none of the members have any expertise in the Imperial law? Just another way to give a nice taxpayer funded bonus to six random people with the right connections whose recommendation in the end will be ignored anyway as the govt. and Imperial agency push their own solution to the abdication issue.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If the emperor is a mere symbol, he should "symbolically" abdicate and be done with it. What are they (and who is "they") going to do, fire him?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@domtoidi

I was thinking along the same lines, but you have to wonder what he would then do for money and where he'd live....

0 ( +2 / -2 )

About 80 percent of the general public supports Akihito’s abdication

but

Allowing Akihito to abdicate would be a major change to the system,

System over public will. Democracy in action.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Study the issue?

Haven't they got anything better to do?

Some people need to get a life!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

He can come live with me. I have an extra room.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Emperor should go on strike

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"Allowing Akihito to abdicate would be a major change to the system..."

More and more like China every day.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Well, it surely would be a historical event! Not easy for Japan to do such a thing. I hope they change the system to even allow for an empress.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can see Akihito now practicing his happy dance singing "free at last, free at last, great god almighty I am free at last".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It would take any adult all of three seconds to go meh, and let him retire.

Law must reflect real life, not bend life to pointless laws.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When faced with the unknown form a panel and bill the taxpayer.......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why an emperor is still needed in 21st century?

I would not be surprised Akihito-san would support getting rid of that. He is probably one of the most modern Japanese I know but he cannot open his mouth due to - controlled - protocol.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

sf2k,

Emperor should go on strike

To echo the immortal words of Douglas Adams, "And who would that inconvenience?"

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This is so stupid. Just let the man retire. You don't need a discussion. It's his choice, not anyone else's.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

They're gonna drag this out until he passes away

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Wow, only one "herpaderp why do you need a monarchy anyway? It's 2016!" comment. I'm almost impressed. Doubt the Brits, Aussies, Canucks etc here will be as accomodating to Queen Elizabeth II when they go home, mind you.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Michael Martin: You mean Commonwealth nations would never let their monarch abdicate? "Herpaderp" to you, too, Mr Martin.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow, only one "herpaderp why do you need a monarchy anyway? It's 2016!" comment. I'm almost impressed. Doubt the Brits, Aussies, Canucks etc here will be as accomodating to Queen Elizabeth II when they go home, mind you.

The Queen doesn't want to abdicate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Domtoidi: I mean no irreverence, but at that age the emperor may need help getting to the bathroom if he isn't already in the diaper. Simply having in your house would cause more of an inconvenience. He would require a good chunk of money to retain an elderly caregiver.

As far as Japan goes, with being a symbol of the state, there just hasn't been enough research. He is still a unifying figure above politics, so unlike the American president where around half hate him and the other half adore him, he maintains much support personally. However, he does not have any reserve powers to check a prime minister. In Sweden, they also have a king with the same situation as the emperor. The difference is, however, that the speaker of the Riksdag (chairman of parliament), holds the reserve executive powers. Perhaps doing this in Japan would be nice.

I myself am in favour of a non-executive symbol of state (Japanese/Swedish style), but would like to give them one of the reserve powers - guaranteer of the constitution. Instead of being executive, the king/emperor would be the chief justice of the supreme court (voting only to break a tie).

I am a doctoral candidate of political science, so I enjoy talking about these things. Hopefully, you enjoyed reading. Please let me know if you have any questions. Cheers.

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

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

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the process is dragged out too long, nature will take its course, which is what I presume the goal of this whole exercise is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan’s modern imperial law doesn’t allow abdication, and Japan’s postwar constitution stipulates the emperor as a mere “symbol” with no political power or say.

In other words, a slave for the ultra nationalists to use for their own selfish needs.

These people are beyond despicable. Let the old man and his wife enjoy what little time they have left. The rightists are humiliating their emperor and their country with their BS. What they are doing must be against human rights. Like a form of torture and abuse. How can you force someone to remain in a position against their will? And someone who is the symbol of the state nonetheless.

If they can do THAT to the symbol of the nation, what can they do to the common person?? We have to start asking THAT.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If a Pope can retire, so can an emperor.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A pope has much more power. When he speaks from the chair, it is considered the authority of God; when he speaks out of the chair (regular), it is considered wise advice. If an emperor went off script one or more may happen:

1) Govt (cabinet) resigns in protest

2) Somehow emperor is chastised (he cannot be arrested) while still showing deference and respect

3) Citizens rally in protection of the constitution and call for his removal (the people like him now likely because he stays out of politics)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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