Japanese dare to ask: Do we really need an emperor?
Having an Emperor or king
or queen as head of state
has some advantages, to
handle ceremonial duties
while a prime minister has
Japan's imperial family is confronting a sharp crisis of confidence as it searches for a meaningful role in modern Japanese society.
While still revered, the imperial family – whose head was considered divine until 1945 – is increasingly pitied as its members struggle with their tightly constrained lives. And with Emperor Akihito's reign in its twilight, many Japanese are daring to ask what has been unspeakable for centuries: Does the country really need an emperor?