Possibility to revive


Justin McCurry “Japan's Emperor Akihito not preparing to abdicate, palace insists” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/14/japans-emperor-akihito-not-preparing-to-abdicate-palace-insists


Attention has inevitably turned to Akihito’s successor, Naruhito, the Oxford-educated crown prince, who wrote his thesis on the history of transportation on the river Thames. The 56-year-old is married to crown princess Masako, who has rarely been seen in public since being diagnosed with a stress-related disorder more than 10 years ago.

Naruhito caused a minor scandal in 2004 when he suggested that pressure to conform to the rules of palace life had contributed to his wife’s illness*3.

Even as the palace denied the reports, there was speculation that Akihito’s abdication could revive a national debate over the succession laws.

Under the current male-only succession law, Naruhito’s only child, 14-year-old princess Aiko, cannot ascend the throne. The next in line after Naruhito is his brother, Akishino, followed by his nine-year-old son, Hisahito.






*3:See Eric Johnston and Jonathan Watts “Palace life puts strain on Japan's princess” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/may/11/japan.jonathanwatts