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Japan

Majority of the public feels positive about Emperor Naruhito


OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY ANDEA HANKS

A survey held by Kyodo News revealed that 75 per cent of the respondents feel positive about Emperor Naruhito of Japan, who succeeded his father on 1 May last year.

Over 2,000 people responded to the survey. Fifty-eight per cent said they felt an affinity for the Emperor, with another 17 per cent describing him as “wonderful.” The survey also showed that 85 per cent would accept a female monarch, and 79 per cent said they would also accept an emperor who was descended from a female member of the Imperial Family. The succession is currently limited to the male-line only, currently leaving just three people in the line of the succession.

When asked what they hoped the Emperor would do, 56 per cent said “build international friendships”, with 58 per cent saying the same for Empress Masako. Seventy-five per cent said they had an interest in the Imperial Family to some extent or to a great extent, with 21 per cent saying that they were not very interested and 4 per cent saying they had no interest at all.

Discussions about the problem of the succession were set to begin after the ceremonies for Crown Prince Fumihito, but since those have been delayed, the discussions have also been delayed. It remains uncertain if the government will be able to reach a solution giving the great divide between the conservatives and those who support a female monarch or a matrilineal successor. Reinstatement of collateral branches of the Imperial Family was also being considered.