Ichigen koji (76)
Posted by ampontan on Friday, December 2, 2011
- A person who has something to say about everything
The discussion of the (Imperial) system should be left to debate in the Diet…(but) when discussing the ideal form of the Imperial Household in the future, I would very much appreciate it if they asked for my opinion, or that of His Majesty the Crown Prince.
- Prince Akishino, second in line to the Imperial throne, during a news conference held on his 46th birthday
Most of the coverage in the media both in Japan and overseas focused on his comment that there should be discussion of the possibility of establishing a retirement age for the Emperor. The current Tenno is 77, has had health problems in the past, and recently spent time in the hospital for pneumonia. The overseas media is aware that the position is almost entirely ceremonial, but unaware of the amount of time required to serve.
This statement was not widely reported overseas, however. Those in Japan who play close attention thought the statement was rather frank for a member of the Imperial family. They suspect it might be an expression of frustration within the family that the political class makes the decisions on important matters related to the family without consulting them at all. The family is of course aware that some Diet members, including former Prime Minister Kan Naoto, are closet republicans who would abolish the system if given a chance.