Saturday, December 17, 2016

Akihito will make a living abdication

Recently, I wrote that Akihito, the Emperor of Japan, was considering abdication.

My past entry: Japanese Emperor plans abdication

Following his video message presented in August, the government constructed an expert panel to discuss this issue. While the conclusion has not been fixed yet, the members seem to allow the Emperor to made a living succession.

The Guardian: Japan's Emperor Akihito should be allowed to retire, says expert panel

The current legislation has not addressed the process of abdication. Therefore, the government will revise the Imperial Household Law soon after the panel published the final report.

I think the idea to allow the Emperor to make the abdication is reasonable, as the Emperor himself hopes to do so. But there may be some opposing opinions. If an ex-Emperor had an influence on the ruling of the new Emperor, it would cause a serious confusion for the governance of Japan, as the history explicitly shows.

And there is another concern of imperial succession. Japan legislation does not allow female Emperor. It sounds a little odd, considering the fact that there were some female Emperors historically. When Akihito dropped the throne, Crown Prince Naruhito will succeed him. But Naruhito has no sons. His brother Akishino will follow him. The relationship between male-succession law and the general principle of human equality is complicated. Broad discussion may be begun about this issue.

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