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Japan PM to introduce bill allowing female monarchs

[JURIST] Japanese Prime Minister and Liberal Democratic Party leader Junichiro Koizumi [official profile] pledged to introduce a bill to reform the 1947 Imperial Household Law [text], allowing women to ascend to the country's imperial throne [JURIST report] during his annual keynote speech to parliament Friday. Under current law, a male must ascend to the throne, but no male has been born to the family since Prince Akishino [official profile] in 1965. The proposed change would place four-year-old Princess Aiko in the order of succession behind her father, Crown Prince Naruhito [official profile]. In addition, Koizumi restated his intent to step down in September when his current term ends, questioned a national referendum on revisions to the country's pacifist constitution [JURIST report], and promised to further improve relations with China and South Korea. BBC News has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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