In the latter part of 2016, Japanese Emperor has expressed its “willingness” to resign on his post due to health issues.
He even caught addressing the Japanese people via Television, a seldom thing he does during his long reign as emperor of the country, showing his intention to vacate the position.
And now, Japan’s parliament has passed into law a historic bill that enables Emperor Akihito to become the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in 200 years.
The current development has come amid the love of the Japanese flock to their emperor, as indicated at the imperial law decrees that sitting emperors cannot resign from their posts, but the one-off bill permits the 83-year-old to pass the Chrysanthemum Throne to Crown Prince Naruhito, the eldest of his three children.
It can be traced on Japan’s royal history that the last emperor to abdicate was Emperor Kokaku in 1817 in the later part of the Edo Period, and the royal male line is unbroken, records show, for at least 14 centuries.
As reported at CNN, the conversation around the Emperor’s hope to step down (who cited concerns his advanced age might be affecting his ability to serve) has been dominated by the debate on the role women play in the world’s oldest hereditary monarchy.
Also, added to the abdication bill is a resolution that potentially questions whether women who marry outside the family have to rescind their royal rights.
Furthermore, the current imperial law also decrees that — unlike in Europe or Great Britain — any princess who marries a commoner must leave the family.
In fact, as part of the story that really love conquers all was the latest case of Princess Mako, who last month revealed plans are underway for her to become engaged to law firm worker Kei Komuro, once again drew the topic into the limelight.
The Princess is one of 14 women in a royal family of only 19 people.
Princess giving up royal status for love.
In addition to Princess Mako, there are six other unmarried princesses who could lose their imperial status if they marry commoners, raising the possibility that the royal family will soon not have enough members to carry out its public duties.
Weighing the current ruling of the Japanese parliament, expert from Temple University in Japan said the country faces a succession crisis.
“I think the reason people raise questions as to why women have to leave the royal household when they get married is because Japan is facing a succession crisis,” says Jeff Kingston, director of Asian studies at Temple University Japan.
“They have a shortage of male heirs.”
Looking back at the royal family tree, Naruhito only has one daughter, Princess Aiko. Next in line to the throne is Naruhito’s younger brother, Crown Prince Akishino, followed by Akishino’s son, Prince Hisahito, who was born in 2006. His birth put a halt to the renewed debate at the time about the legitimacy of female succession.
Kingston also added that people are once again beginning to think about the possibility, which would help ease the crisis.
“Opinion polls show the Japanese people are just fine with the idea of having an empress,” he says, adding that really it’s only conservatives that oppose the idea.