System Eyed to Commission Official Duties to Ex-Female Members of Imperial Family


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 advocates a system to allow female Imperial Family members to establish branches of the family after getting married, from taking the initiative on issues related to the dwindling family membership.

The government believes the commission system would satisfy conservative claims that the Emperor should be from the male bloodline, because former female members' children would remain outside the line of succession to the Imperial throne, the sources said.

The option of commissioning official duties to married women from the Imperial Family would allow the government to "avoid a debate on allowing female members to launch family branches," an aide to Prime Minister Abe Shinzō said.

But a different government source admitted that the option "won't lead to a fundamental solution to the issue of how to ensure stable Imperial succession."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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