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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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Saudi King’s Visit Stirs Business Hopes in Japan (News)

Tokyo, March 13 (Jiji Press)—Saudi King Salman’s four-day visit to Japan from Sunday is stirring hopes for a special business boom in the host nation, with the royal visit seen accompanied by a total of 1,000-1,500 royal family members, government officials, business executives and others. Some 1,000 rooms in luxury hotels have been booked for the king’s delegation, while hundreds of limousines…
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Empress Michiko: The Times and Trials of the Emperor’s Devoted ConsortWatanabe Midori

On August 8, 2016, Emperor Akihito, then aged 82, delivered a statement in which, while using indirect language, he indicated his desire to abdicate. And in October, Empress Michiko, who had just turned 82 herself, prepared written answers to questions from the press, including this passage: “It came as a shock to me . . . to see the words seizen taii  printed in such big letters on the front pa…
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The Abdication Question in Japan and Europe: A ComparisonKimizuka Naotaka

On January 23, a government advisory panel published its interim report on the question of the emperor’s possible abdication. The panel seems to be tilting toward a solution that would limit abdication to the present emperor only. But as lifespans increase, it is likely that the present emperor will not be the last to want to retire. Has the time come for a fundamental reform of Japan’s Imperial Household Law? Professor Kimizuka Naotaka looks at how several European monarchies have dealt with the abdication question in recent years.
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Japanese Panel Favors Abdication only for Current Emperor (News)

Tokyo, Jan. 23 (Jiji Press)—A Japanese government advisory panel on Monday indicated that any system for possible imperial abdication in the country applies only to Emperor Akihito. The panel, though not suggesting a specific course of action, highlighted a host of potential problems in an interim report that would arise if a permanent system is created for imperial abdication. The governmen…
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Japan’s Emperor, Empress to Visit Vietnam from February 28 (News)

Tokyo, Jan. 20 (Jiji Press)—Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko are set to make their first official visit to Vietnam, starting on February 28, with the aim of promoting friendship between the two countries. The Imperial trip was decided at a cabinet meeting Friday. The trip comes after the couple received an invitation from each of the past Vietnamese presidents who had visited Japan. …
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