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Japanese rally against female imperial succession proposal

[JURIST] Over 1,000 protestors gathered in Tokyo Wednesday to rally against a proposed change to the 1947 Imperial Household Law [text], which would allow women and their children to ascend to Japan's Chrysanthemum throne [Wikipedia backgrounder], one of the world's oldest monarchies. Last year, in response to a succession crisis created because no male heirs having been born in the family since 1965, a government panel recommended changing the succession law [JURIST report] to allow the first-born child, irrespective of gender, the right to ascend to the throne. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi [official profile] has promised to introduce reform legislation [JURIST report]. If the change is approved, Princess Aiko, granddaughter of Emperor Akihito [official profile], could become the first reigning empress since the 18th century. Opinion polls have shown a majority of public support for the change, but some conservatives, including 29 lawmakers within Koizumi's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) [party website] are strongly opposed to the proposal. Opponents instead have suggested reviving abolished princely houses in order to continue male succession to the throne. Another rally is scheduled in Tokyo next month, where over 10,000 are expected to attend. Reuters has more.

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