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Announcement of Princess Mako’s Informal Engagement Put Off (News)

Tokyo, July 7 (Jiji Press)—Japan's Imperial Household Agency said Friday it has decided to postpone the announcement of Princess Mako's informal engagement to former university classmate Komuro Kei and other related events scheduled for Saturday, in view of serious damage caused by heavy rain in the northern part of the Kyūshū region of southwestern Japan. The 25-year-old princess, the eldest o…
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Princess Mako and the Future of the Imperial HouseholdNagai Takako

Word of Princess Mako’s impending engagement, followed by news of her successful trip to Bhutan, came like a breath of fresh air at a time when Emperor Akihito’s wish to abdicate has dominated media coverage of the imperial family. At the same time, the princess's transition embodies the quandary facing the shrinking imperial household, which loses a precious member each time a woman marries out of the family.
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Landmark Law Allowing Emperor Abdication Enacted in Japan (News)

Tokyo, June 9 (Jiji Press)—Japan's parliament enacted on Friday government-sponsored special legislation to allow Emperor Akihito to step down, paving the way for the first succession from a living emperor in about 200 years in the country. The Emperor and Empress of Japan attend a ceremony in Tokyo on June 6, 2017, honoring people designated as Living National Treasures. (©Jiji) At a plena…
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Laying Down New Roots: Imperial Couple Takes Part in Tree-Planting Ceremony (Japan in Photos)

Emperor Akihito and a local schoolchild team up to settle a young sapling as Empress Michiko watches on at an annual tree-planting ceremony, held this year in Uozu, Toyama Prefecture, on May 28, 2017. Among the trees planted by the imperial couple were the locally developed Tateyama sugi, which produces almost no pollen, and the Koshino fuyuzakura, a variety of cherry. (© Jiji)
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Summer Eyed for Announcing Princess Mako’s Informal Engagement (News)

Tokyo, May 25 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Imperial Household Agency is considering moving up the announcement of the informal engagement of Princess Mako, a granddaughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, to a former university classmate by several months from the initially envisioned autumn this year, Yamamoto Shin'ichirō, head of the agency, said Thursday. The announcement is expected to be m…
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System Eyed to Commission Official Duties to Ex-Female Members of Imperial Family (News)

Tokyo, May 22 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government is considering a system to grant official status to former female members of the Imperial Family and commission some of the family's official duties to them, in response to its falling membership, informed sources said Monday. The move apparently reflects the government's eagerness to prevent the main opposition Democratic Party, which strongly…
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Japanese Princess Mako to Get Engaged to Ex-Classmate (News)

Tokyo, May 16 (Jiji Press)—Princess Mako, a granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, is set to be engaged to a former classmate at her university, it was learned Tuesday. Princess Mako waves to well-wishers from the balcony of the Imperial Palace on Emperor Akihito’s eighty-third birthday in Tokyo, December 23, 2016. (© Jiji) The man who won the heart of the 25-year-old princess is Komuro Kei, 25,…
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The Compromise and Contradictions in Emperor Akihito’s Abdication LegislationKasahara Hidehiko

Leaders of both houses of the Japanese Diet have presented Prime Minister Abe Shinzō with their recommendations regarding Emperor Akihito’s abdication. However, their proposal to create one-off legislation for an exceptional case contradicts their further assertion that it will also provide a precedent for future cases.
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Inside the Imperial Abdication Panel: A Legal and Political Balancing Act

In the wake of a rare televised address in which Emperor Akihito obliquely conveyed a desire to step down, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō formed a six-member advisory panel to hammer out a legislative solution, given the lack of provision for abdication under current Japanese law. In this exclusive interview, Mikuriya Takashi, the panel’s acting chair, sheds light on the process that culminated in a recommendation for ad hoc legislation permitting abdication on this occasion only.
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Experts Propose Possible Titles for Emperor After Abdication (News)

Tokyo, March 22 (Jiji Press)—A panel set up by the Japanese government heard proposals on Wednesday from guest experts on possible titles for Emperor Akihito after his expected abdication. At the day's panel meeting, the first in about two months, the three experts on the history of the imperial family proposed using the title jōkō (上皇), meaning retired emperor, or daijō tennō (太上天皇), which can…
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