Returning the vast majority of Japanese voters allowing women to inherit the Chrysanthemum Throne, a new poll shows, as the royal family struggles with male heirs ‘ dearth.
The survey, conducted in the wake of Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement proclamation ceremony last week, found Japan’s 81.9% favour, with a woman taking the throne, opposed by 13.5%.
The Kyodo News agency poll, conducted over the weekend, comes as the royal family’s succession debate is renewed, with the inheritance of the throne restricted by law to male members of the imperial line.
There are currently only three heirs— the younger brother of the emperor, Crown Prince Akishino, 53, his 13-year-old son, Prince Hisahito, and the uncle of the emperor, Prince Hitachi, 83.
The dwindling ranks of male heirs have rekindled debate about allowing female royals to ascend the throne, with senior government spokesman Yoshihide Suga saying that after a series of imperial ceremonies this year they will “cautiously” study the issue.
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako have one child, Princess Aiko, 17 years old.