Thursday, January 04, 2007

The source of Japan's identity

Japan has changed since the end of WW2. Lot's of things were different then. But after the war, everything suddenly changed. Except for a few things from some patriotic government appointees.

When interviewed by the Japan Times about the great fortune that Japan had in finally getting a probable male successor to Emperor Akihito instead of having to amend the law to allow a mere female, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hakubun Shinomura said:

"If (Japan) allows the descendants of females to become emperors, then they would be no different from ordinary citizens. The respect that people have (for the emperor) will become distorted, thereby distorting the Imperial system itself."


"I believe the Imperial family exists as the source of Japan's identity."

Some folks disagree:

"The Imperial Household Law clearly violates (the United Nations) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women," said Mizuho Fukushima, leader of the Social Democratic Party. "I believe that (the Imperial system) should treat men and women as equals."


According to Constitutional expert Koichi Yokota, Article 24 states: "marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes," but under Article 10 of the Imperial Household Law, male members must receive permission to marry, from the Imperial conference, which is presided over by the prime minister.

This is to prevent a future emperor from being blond or of mixed race, and from divorcing, Yokota said. "This is nothing but discrimination."

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