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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 May 15 - 21  > JCP Secretariate Head Koike: Constitution does not limit Emperor to only male-lineage males
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2024 May 15 - 21 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP Secretariate Head Koike: Constitution does not limit Emperor to only male-lineage males

May 18, 2024
Japanese Communist Party Secretariate Head Koike Akira on May 17 said that female emperors should be allowed because the Constitution of Japan proclaims that the Emperor (Tenno) is the “symbol” of the Japanese people, making no mention of the Emperor’s gender.

He expressed this opinion at a meeting on the succession to the imperial throne held at the official residence of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Article 1 of the Constitution stipulates that the Emperor is “the symbol of the State and the unity of the People, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power.”

Koike said, “The provisions of the Constitution require that the Tenno system be under the full control of the people who are sovereigns of the nation. The issue of imperial succession should be discussed based on the constitutional provisions.”

He also pointed out that it is not an “ironclad principle” that the Tenno should be succeeded by a male-lineage male.

He continued to say, “In light of the provisions of the Constitution, there is no rational reason to limit the Emperor, the ‘symbol’ of the Japanese people’s unity which is composed of people of diverse genders, to be male. The interpretation that women cannot be emperor goes against the spirit of the Constitution which upholds gender equality.”

He added, “From the constitutional viewpoint, it is reasonable to understand that women can ascend the throne. For the same reason, female emperors should be allowed.”

At the same meeting, representatives of all political parties and factions also expressed their views. From the JCP, in addition to Koike, Kokuta Keiji (JCP Diet policy chief, Lower House), Shiokawa Tetsuya (Lower House), and Iwabuchi Tomo (Upper House) were also present.

Past related article:
> Allowing women to be Emperor is rational from constitutional point of view: JCP Koike [January 19, 2022]

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