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Emperor Akihito: Huge crowds as Japan monarch gives emotional farewell

JacksinPA

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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-46666229

More than 80,000 people have paid their respects to Japan's Emperor Akihito as he gave his final birthday address before his abdication in April.

The emperor, 85, said he took "deep comfort" that his reign had passed without Japan again engaging in war.
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Happy he didn't invade Pearl Harbor. First Japanese emperor to abdicate in 200 years.
 

Jetboogieman

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It is interesting to note that the Japanese Royal Family is in danger of disappearing all together, due to their strict, patriarchal rules, there are actually so few members left and after Nurahito, there is only one male heir in the next generation.

Every single one Akihitos children had girls and up until that boy was born, plans were being drawn up to consider a woman on the Chrysanthemum Throne they were abandoned immediately.

The issue with women is that a male royal family member may marry a commoner and remain royal, a female may not.

Prince Hisahito is the only hope for Japanese Conservatives to maintain the current rules, if anything happens to him, or he never produces a male heir, or can’t have children, it’ll be interesting to be sure.
 

JacksinPA

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It is interesting to note that the Japanese Royal Family is in danger of disappearing all together, due to their strict, patriarchal rules, there are actually so few members left and after Nurahito, there is only one male heir in the next generation.

Every single one Akihitos children had girls and up until that boy was born, plans were being drawn up to consider a woman on the Chrysanthemum Throne they were abandoned immediately.

The issue with women is that a male royal family member may marry a commoner and remain royal, a female may not.

Prince Hisahito is the only hope for Japanese Conservatives to maintain the current rules, if anything happens to him, or he never produces a male heir, or can’t have children, it’ll be interesting to be sure.

I've worked for the Japanese & traveled to Japan where i took the Shinkansen the entire length of the island of Honshu. In general, I think the Japanese are subconsciously misogynistic.

Interestingly, I passed through the town of Fukushima but the train did not stop. That mainline of their bullet train travels along the coast mostly.
 

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I join other members and guests in wishing His Majesty a happy retirement.

I personally wish that we had a ceremonial president, someone who could be above politics, as are today's kings.

There would not be this unpleasantness in our country today if the head of state were only a symbol, someone whom Americans could either admire or ignore.


I hope that the Land of the Rising Sun will continue to have a unifying monarchy for a long time to come.

I do so admire Japan and earnestly hope that it can avoid certain problems that are current in American and (increasingly) European society.
 

Jetboogieman

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I've worked for the Japanese & traveled to Japan where i took the Shinkansen the entire length of the island of Honshu. In general, I think the Japanese are subconsciously misogynistic.

Interestingly, I passed through the town of Fukushima but the train did not stop. That mainline of their bullet train travels along the coast mostly.

I don't know if its so subconscious, but it is beginning to change, but not quickly enough, one need only see recent stories like this one:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...ictims-of-tokyos-medical-school-scandal-react

To see why.

They've had to hasten the foreign workers program as Abes ambitious plan of getting women more involved in the economy hasn't worked as fast as they'd liked, of course even if it had, they'd still be facing that shortage in labor.

A few years ago I outlined several steps I believe could reverse Japans current economic woes:

1) Begin a rigorous and aggressive strategy of ensuring all children learn English by the age of 18.

2) Allow for dual citizenship for all persons so that economic activity and investment can continue across borders, at present Japanese citizens with dual nationalities such as my son will have to choose at 20 years old whether they will remain a Japanese citizen or not. If he doesn't have to make this choice, he may allow the businesses and capital he may inherit to flow to Japan stirring economic activity.

3) Begin enforcing labour laws and put an end to death by overwork, it is my firm belief that if Japan can begin to liberalize this aspect of their society people will have more time to spend their hard earned income, they will enjoy life more, they will have more time to socialize and find a partner and it may lead to an increase in birth rate.

4) Work to break down the very paternal and ageist society to open up the economic prospects for millions of citizens. As it stands if you get to a certain age your economic opportunities minimize significantly, especially if you're a woman. Most Japanese work for the same company their entire lives and if they lose that it can be devastating. People can't retrain for different careers as easily in Japan because often times they won't accept people of a certain age.

5) In Conjuction with the increase in English within the population they must liberalize immigration laws to offset their aging population, some steps have already been taken but they are simply not enough, some estimates have said that if Japan does not do something to increase immigration and raise their birth rates, their population will collapse, it stands at around 120 Million today, by 2050 that number could drop to 80 million.

Its interesting that the royal family is a microcosm for the extreme demographic issues Japan faces, which are at least partially self inflicted.
 

JacksinPA

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The Japanese, especially on rural settings, are also very xenophobic. We met an American woman with a small mixed-race child who lived in a roral town outside Tokyo & told us that the locals go out of their way to avoid Americans. Could be part of the racial hangover from Hiroshima & Nagasaki.

Met an American at a party once who went to Japan by himself to teach English in such a rural community. I think there are firms in Japan that pay you to do this & cover travel expenses, lodging, etc., but it would still be a major undertaking unless you were a language scholar & already had some Japanese language skills. All I got was 'ichi ban' (number one) & 'ichi ni' (number two).
 

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At the root of the problem is the male-only succession rule, which is about to be changed. Prince Hisahito's two female cousins who are in their twenties may be allowed to join the line of succession just as Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie are in Britain. I think the Japanese imperial family should copy the British royal family's succession rules, which have been changed recently to be more gender neutral. The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 replaced male-preference primogeniture with absolute primogeniture. Akihito's two sons including the next emperor were educated at Oxford in their youth and they must be familiar with British culture.
 
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