The name of Naruhito's reign will be Reiwa. The name alludes to good fortune and peace or harmony, according to the Japan Times. Akihito’s era of Heisei, which means achieving peace, was the first without a war in Japan’s modern history.
Naruhito is the 126th Emperor in the world’s oldest hereditary monarchy, believed to stretch back more than 2,600 years. Nippon.com observes that he is likely to face great pressure in meeting the imperial family’s thorny challenges, while bearing the weight of its lengthy history. One of the challenges is the succession.
Eyes will be on Crown Princess Masako, who becomes empress alongside her husband. A former career-track diplomat and a commoner, the Harvard-educated Masako gave up her profession when she married Naruhito in 1993. Battling depression, she dropped out of public life because of stress, which can only increase after the enthronement. She and Naruhito have one child, Aiko, Princess Toshi, who cannot succeed her father because she is female.
Nippon.com described the family in May 2017 as in a state of crisis. The publication notes that under the Imperial House Law, which does not allow for female succession, Naruhito’s 11-year-old nephew Prince Hisahito, the son of his younger brother Prince Akishino, is the only eligible claimant to the throne in the next generation, and the family’s seven unmarried princesses relinquish their imperial status if they wed. Their loss reduces the number of members able to complete official duties.
After Naruhito’s succession, the government will consider how to deal with these issues, according to the publication, and he will not be allowed to even express his opinions on any legal changes.
The Emperor is limited to symbolic roles, and has no political function. In all his state functions, the Emperor must have the advice and approval of the cabinet. This applies in particular to the succession issue.
#22800 Published: 11/06/2018