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INTERNATIONAL (Japan): Japanese royal family, status of women?: "Japanese Princess's Engagement Revives Debate on Women in Royal Family" ....

***Japanese royal family, status of women?

* New York Times:  "Japanese Princess's Engagement Revives Debate on Women in Royal Family" - From the NYT:

TOKYO — A royal engagement typically unleashes breathless headlines and frenzied efforts by the press to learn of the wedding details. All that is happening in Japan, where Princess Mako, the eldest grandchild of Emperor Akihito, will soon be engaged to her college boyfriend. But news of the impending engagement, which broke Tuesday night, is also raising fresh questions about the status of women in the imperial family.

Under the Imperial Household Law, which governs the succession of emperors in Japan’s monarchy, the world’s oldest, women are not allowed to reign on the throne. And women born into the royal family must officially leave it once they marry. So when the princess, a 25-year-old doctoral student at International Christian University in Tokyo, marries Kei Komuro, 25, an aspiring lawyer, she will become a commoner, narrowing the prospective pool of heirs to the throne.

As Japan considers whether to reform the imperial law to accommodate the current emperor’s request to abdicate before he dies, many Japanese have suggested it is time to revise the 70-year-old law to allow women to ascend to the throne and to allow royal daughters to bear heirs. With so few males left in the imperial family — there are only five, including the current emperor — Japan’s monarchy is facing a looming succession crisis.


Given how short the line of succession has become, imperial family watchers say that the law should be reformed to allow for more heirs ...................