The Daily Yomiuri,
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8055
I agree with the Advisory Panel’s recommendation to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi that primogeniture - first born ascension to the throne, regardless of gender - be the new rule of Japanese Imperial succession. Opposition from academics, conservatives, and sticks-in-the-mud that female succession is contrary to Japanese tradition doesn’t bear much credibility, first, in light of this country’s notorious habit of inventing ‘traditions,’ and second, because being a tradition, or being called a tradition, is nothing in and of itself. Only the tradition in context is meaningful. There ought to be a better reason than just that. As I get older I naturally become more conservative myself, and I am all for traditions. But I am even more for Right Reason and acuity.
Opponents of a revision of the 1947 Imperial House Law sound ridiculous, and if they have their way they will argue themselves right into a republic - and then perhaps claim that it is okay because it’s a tradition.
This is the 21stcentury, and it might do better to debate the continued existence of monarchy at all, rather than bedroom details don’t mean much in fact.