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76 pct tolerate review to imperial succession system, Jiji poll

Tokyo, Nov. 15 (Jiji Press)–A Jiji Press poll showed Friday that 76.1 pct of the public tolerate a review to Japan’s current Imperial succession system allowing only male descendants in the family’s paternal line to ascend the throne.


The number far exceeded 18.5 pct who said the current system should be maintained, according to the survey, conducted for four days through Monday across Japan, excluding areas affected by Typhoon Hagibis in mid-October.


The government plans to start discussions on how to ensure stable Imperial succession, as the membership of the Imperial Family is dwindling.


The focus is whether to allow Imperial Family women to assume the throne and people in the family’s maternal line to become an emperor.


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is cautious about any such change, giving consideration to the popular position of conservatives, a support base for Abe.


But even among the supporters of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, 71.9 pct said the current succession system does not have to be kept as it is, while 25.7 pct opposed any change.


Of those tolerating a review, 94.6 pct said female-line emperors should be allowed. Meanwhile, 4.3 pct said female emperors should be allowed.


The survey also asked about the pardons granted recently to some 550,000 people convicted of petty crimes to mark Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement in May.


Those who said the practice should be maintained totaled 19.2 pct, while 55.6 pct answered the opposite. Those who said they had no opinion stood at 25.2 pct.


The pardons, given on the occasion of the Oct. 22 enthronement proclamation ceremony, were appreciated by 23.2 pct, while 48.4 pct took the opposite view and 28.4 pct had no opinion.


Asked about the government’s decision to give pardons to violators of the public offices election law, 16.5 pct showed support, 59.5 pct expressed opposition, and 24.0 pct had no opinion.


The interview survey was conducted with 1,986 adults. Valid responses came from 62.5 pct.

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