Fumio Kishida’s Cabinet is forced to consider “Emperor Aiko” as an option, “the serious problem of the declining number of members of the Imperial Family. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Fumio Kishida’s Cabinet is forced to consider “Emperor Aiko” as an option, “the serious problem of the declining number of members of the Imperial Family.

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Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress Aiko, the eldest daughter of the Emperor and Empress, enter the Akasaka Imperial Palace in Moto-Akasaka, Tokyo, to greet the Emperor and Empress on their 22nd birthday (PHOTO: Kyodo News)

Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress’ eldest daughter, Princess Aiko, celebrated her 22nd birthday on December 1.

This year marks the first time that Aiko has been involved in the procedures of the Imperial Household Council, in addition to being present for the first time at the general New Year’s and Emperor’s Birthday celebrations. She is scheduled to graduate from the Japanese Language and Literature Department of the Faculty of Letters at Gakushuin University next April, and expectations are high for her to take on ever fewer official duties. There is even the possibility of a slight fever.

On the other hand, the problem of the declining number of members of the Imperial Family is not a new one, but it is an urgent issue that does not allow for optimism.

Two years have passed since the government’s panel of experts, which discusses how to ensure a stable succession to the throne, submitted a report to the Diet outlining measures to deal with the declining number of members of the Imperial Family, but the Diet debate has not progressed at all. Although Prime Minister Kishida has mentioned the report, he seems to be too busy dealing with the scandals that keep cropping up and the tasks at hand.

Of course, Mr. Kishida is always concerned about the approval rating of his Cabinet, and he feels strongly that the only way is not to come up with an ultra C but to do things steadily. He is also thinking about how he can turn around the approval rating, and is keeping his antenna up for opportunities to do so.

It is reported that an informal meeting is being held at the special order of Prime Minister Kishida to restore support for the government, and the issue of the Imperial Family is reportedly on the agenda.

As for possible themes for the administration to exploit with regard to the Imperial Family, the basis seems to be former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s argument published in ’12. The Imperial Household could adopt a male child from the former imperial family into the Prince Mikasa or Prince Takamado family, and when the child becomes independent, he or she would succeed to the imperial family or receive a new imperial title.

Under the current Imperial Household Law, the Imperial Family is not allowed to adopt children, so it would be necessary to remove that clause, but this would not be a major obstacle.

In that case, of course, the possibility of marrying Princess Aiko after independence as a member of the Imperial Family has not been ruled out. ……

The LDP is not at all trying to force that as an administration, but on the other hand, they are aware that every time the media conducts a public opinion survey, the taboo against “Emperor Aiko” has diminished, and they are proud of their high approval rating of about 80%.

However, needless to say, the hurdles to realization are quite high, and a half-hearted stance could fly in the face of the administration. In light of the reality and risks involved, nuances are being conveyed that they have an impression that the option of adopting a male child from the former imperial family is not a bad one.

In the midst of all this, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office’s Special Investigation Department has been investigating the so-called “party tickets” of the LDP factions on a scale not seen since the recruiting case, and it is believed that a case against the LDP is inevitable. The Kishida administration is naturally not unscathed, and may need to go beyond “surprises” to a “dismantling of the administration” and a “fresh start. The time may be approaching when the Kishida administration will have to resort to the “Imperial Household Card.

  • PHOTO Kyodo News

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