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Controversy surrounding the succession to the Imperial Throne of Japan

The Japanese Monarchy is the oldest monarchy in the world, and that becomes very clear from the moment you come across the succession law that governs it.

We are now in 2019, and women are still not allowed to succeed to the Chrysanthemum Throne which is unacceptable in the world today where the principles of gender equality are so desperately important.

The succession to the Chrysanthemum Throne follows the rules established by the Imperial House Law of 1947 that sets the succession according to the principles of Salic Law, which states that only males have dynastic rights.

A great irony of the Japanese succession law is that it creates an even bigger problem for the Imperial Family due to the lack of male heirs to the throne.

Since the birth of the Crown Prince in 1960, only two other male heirs have been born to the Imperial Family.

But the situation gets even worse because Crown Prince Naruhito, who is set to succeed to the Imperial Throne in May when his father abdicates, only has a daughter.

The other male heirs born after 1960 are Prince Akishino, the younger brother of Crown Prince Naruhito, and his son Prince Hisahito of Akishino.

And what happens to the eight Imperial Princesses who were born after 1960 and have no dynastic rights to the Throne of Japan? Currently, Princesses have to renounce their titles and membership of the Imperial Family upon marriage.

Japan needs to modernise the monarchy. If they don’t, the Imperial Family will soon be so short in numbers that it won’t be able to carry out all the duties that it is required to do so constitutionally.

Whether Imperial Princesses born into the family will keep their dynastic rights in the future, or will simply be able to retain their titles after marriage is a decision for the Japanese Parliament.

But it is clear that changes must be made if the Monarchy in Japan will continue in the years to come.

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