社説:「女性宮家」 皇室の将来へ論議を



(Mainichi Japan) November 26, 2011
Discussion needed on plan to allow women to keep Imperial status after marriage
社説:「女性宮家」 皇室の将来へ論議を

In-depth discussions are needed on the proposed reform of the Imperial Household, including a system to allow women to retain their Imperial status even after marriage.

The government is set to consider introducing houses for female members of the Imperial Family so that they can retain their Imperial status after marriage, for fear that the number of Imperial Family members would otherwise decrease.

It is a matter closely related to how to ensure stable Imperial succession.

Imperial Household Agency chief Shingo Haketa has recently told Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda that the matter is of great urgency for the Imperial Household because many female members of the Imperial Family are nearing marriageable age, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura.

Specific actions have not been taken yet to address the issue, but Fujimura told a news conference that the government will consider the matter while taking into consideration discussions by all levels of society.

The Imperial Household consists of Emperor Akihito and 22 other members of the Imperial Family, and six of eight unmarried female members are adults.

The Imperial House Law stipulates that female members of the Imperial Family must leave the Imperial Household once they get married to commoners.

The law also states that only male members of the Imperial Family in the male line can accede to the Imperial Throne.

The order of succession to the throne is Crown Prince Naruhito, his brother Prince Akishino and Prince Hisahito. 現在その順位は皇太子さま、弟の秋篠宮さま、その長男の悠仁(ひさひと)さまと続く。

Prince Hisahito, 5, the son of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, is the Emperor’s only grandchild who can accede to the throne.

There have been calls for many years urging female members of the Imperial Family to retain their Imperial status after marriage for fear that Imperial succession will be unstable in the long term if the current system is retained.

The previous Liberal Democratic Party-led government set up an advisory panel comprised of experts on how to ensure stable succession to the throne when Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi was in office.

In November 2005, the panel stated that it is extremely difficult to maintain the current system which limits those qualified to accede to the throne to male members of the Imperial Family in the male line.

It then issued a report recommending that female Imperial Family members and their descendents be allowed to succeed to the Chrysanthemum Throne as long as the principle of prioritizing the eldest child in line to the throne is retained, and that women retain their Imperial status even after marriage.

A bill to revise the Imperial House Law based on those recommendations was to be submitted to the Diet.  そして皇室典範改正案が国会に提出されるはずだったが、

However, the recommendations were met with stiff opposition.

The issue was shelved after the birth of Prince Hisahito in September 2006.

A system under which female members of the Imperial Family would retain their Imperial status after marriage would help maintain the number of Imperial Family members to a certain level and could expand the scope of those qualified to accede to the throne.

Needless to say, a conclusion on the issue should not be hastily drawn.

Open public discussions and understanding are indispensable.

The post-war system that recognizes the Emperor as a symbol of the state has been understood and loved by the public based on the philosophy that the “Imperial Household is open to the public and coexists with society.”  戦後、象徴天皇制は「開かれた皇室」「国民とともにある皇室」という理念で理解され、親しまれてきた。

Introducing a new system that matches the times would never contradict with keeping up the tradition of the Imperial Household cultivated by its long history.

Since his enthronement, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have actively promoted exchanges with members of the general public, and visited areas hit by serious natural disasters to cheer up victims.

The Emperor’s visits to former battle sites to pay respect to war victims have shown how the Imperial Household should exist in the Heisei Era.

Frank and open discussion on how to ensure stable Imperial succession will be consistent with the philosophy of the modern Imperial Household.

It should not be an all-or-nothing approach.

Members of the public have a wide diversity of opinions and proposals.

Discussions on the issue should be mature while taking into consideration recommendations made by the government advisory panel six years ago.

毎日新聞 2011年11月26日 2時31分

srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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