Japan defends imperial succession law amid criticism

Tokyo, March 9 (IANS) Japan on Wednesday defended its 1947 Imperial House Law, which allows only a male to succeed the Chrysanthemum throne, following its criticism in a UN committee report.

The law is not designed to discriminate against women and is “based on popular support and reflect the history and traditions” of the imperial family of Japan, same as in cases of royal families in other countries, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Wednesday.

Earlier, a report by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women had included a section that recommended Tokyo should modify the succession law to allow women to accede the throne.

The recommendation has now been removed from the final version of the report, adopted on Monday by the UN committee, after Japan lodged a formal protest, Suga said.

Under the Imperial House Law, Aiko, the only daughter of Japan’s crown prince Naruhito, will not be able to succeed her father to the throne, which instead will pass on to Naruhito’s nine-year-old nephew Hisahito.

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