Grand Steward of Imperial Household Agency Says Need to Settle Rule of Succession “Becoming Urgent”

Grand Steward of Imperial Household Agency Says Need to Settle Rule of Succession “Becoming Urgent”
Yomiuri Shimbun: 皇位継承見直し「緊急性高まる」…宮内庁長官
October 27, 2011

The Grand Steward of the Imperial Household Agency, Shingo Haketa, said the following about the current succession system, under which women in the royal family must leave the imperial household if they marry, during a regular press conference on the 27th: “The princesses are approaching marriageable age. The succession laws regarding their ability to participate in the official activities of the royal family [after marriage] should be settled.”

As for taking another look at the Imperial Household Law, which holds that only male descendants of male heirs can be considered for the throne, he said “matters of state must be debated in the Diet, but the urgency of the issue is increasing. This isn’t something we can take our time on.” He has communicated the same message to the Noda Cabinet.

He also answered questions about imperial succession. Prince Akishino’s eldest daughter Mako turned 20 [the age of majority] on the 23rd, increasing the number of unmarried royal adults with official responsibilities to six, but if she married, she would become a commoner. In addition, if the current Imperial Household Law holds force, allowing only male descendants of male heirs to inherit could become problematic [the emperor has 8 granddaughters and 1 grandson].

Original/原稿:
皇位継承見直し「緊急性高まる」…宮内庁長官

 宮内庁の羽毛田信吾長官は27日の定例記者会見で、女性皇族が結婚により皇室を離れる現行の制度について、「女性皇族の方々が結婚に近い年齢になっている。皇位継承の安定と(今後の)皇室のご活動という意味で課題がある」と話した。

 その上で、皇位継承を男系男子にのみ認めている皇室典範の見直しについて「政治、国会で議論することだが、緊急性がだんだん高まってくる。ゆっくりしていればよいということではない」と述べた。状況認識は野田内閣にも伝えているとした。

 皇位の継承に関する質問に答えた。皇室では秋篠宮ご夫妻の長女、眞子さまが23日に20歳を迎えられ、公務を担える未婚の成年皇族は6人に増えたが、結婚すれば一般人となる。また現行の皇室典範を維持した場合、将来的には男系男子のみでの皇位継承は困難になる。
(2011年10月27日19時02分 読売新聞)

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