TOKYO: NODA Seiko, executive acting secretary-general of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said Friday that the idea of allowing members of the Imperial Family’s maternal lineage to become the Emperor should be an option.
Speaking at a joint press conference by four candidates in the Sept. 29 LDP leadership election, Noda said, “We must seek opinions widely from the people” on the Imperial succession.
“Maternal-line Emperors are one of the options,” she said, adding that Japan is in a situation in which it is difficult to maintain the current system in which only men in the paternal bloodline of the Imperial lineage can take the throne.
On the other hand, former LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Fumio Kishida said that “only offspring in the paternal line have inherited the throne without exception,” adding that he is “against maternal-line Emperors.”
“We should consider options other than one allowing maternal-line Emperors,” including reinstating men of the male bloodline from former Imperial Family, he added.Former Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi said that the 126 generations of paternal-line Emperors “reflect the Emperor’s authority and legitimacy.”
She voiced her hopes of reinstating former Imperial Family members.
Regulatory reform minister Taro Kono has suggested in the past a need to consider having Emperors of the Imperial Family’s maternal bloodline.
“The very important thing is that we pass over the torch of Japan’s tradition in which (the current Imperial system) has continued for 126 generations,” Kono told Friday’s press conference.
Noting that he will respect the conclusion of an expert panel of the Japanese government on the Imperial succession, Kono continued, “It is crucial that we gain widespread support from the general public.”
He avoided mentioning whether he is for or against the idea of maternal-line Emperors.