Emperor Naruhito comments on decreasing Imperial Family

naruhitoBy 外務省ホームページ, CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Emperor Naruhito of Japan commented on the decreasing Imperial Family before his state visit to the United Kingdom.

While talking to the media ahead of the visit, the Emperor has made his first comments on the Imperial Family and its lack of heirs.

He said: “The number of male members of the imperial family is decreasing, they are ageing, and female members of the Imperial Family leave the Imperial Family upon marriage.

“Due to these factors, the number of members of the Imperial Family who can take on public duties is decreasing compared to before.

“This is a problem that relates to the future of the Imperial Family, but I would like to refrain from commenting on matters related to the [legal] system.”

The Emperor stopped short of criticising the government for not changing the laws of succession.

Currently, Japan does not allow women in the line of succession, and they must leave the Imperial Family and renounce their titles upon marriage. This means that Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako’s only child, Princess Aiko, cannot succeed her father to the throne.

Japan only has three people in its line of succession:

  1. Crown Prince Akishino (b. 1965)
  2. Prince Hisahito (b. 2006)
  3. Prince Hitachi (b. 1935)

A recent survey in Japan revealed that 90% of the public is in support of an empress reigning in her own right.

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About the Author

Brittani Barger
Brittani is from the United States and has been researching, writing and reporting on the royals for over a decade. Successfully gaining exclusives and interviews with royals across the globe, Brittani left her role as an editor for another news site to help bring you Royal News. She's been seen on BBC World, WION News and other news programs to discuss the royal families.

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