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posted by cmn32480 on Friday May 19 2017, @01:33PM   Printer-friendly
from the subject-to-interpretation dept.

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has revealed to a Dutch newspaper that he has flown as a co-pilot for the airline KLM about twice per month for the last 21 years. His flying hobby will require retraining to fly Boeing 737s, as the airline is phasing out its Fokker 70s. The King says he was not recognized often, especially after 9/11 as passengers now have less contact with the cockpit.

Japan's Princess Mako will reportedly lose royal status due to marrying a commoner, as Japan's current imperial law requires. The move is "expected to reignite debate" over the nation's imperial succession law and is "raising fresh questions about the status of women in the imperial family". Emperor Akihito, who is 83, has recently hinted that he wants to step down, which would require a legislative change or a one-time exemption. [This bill is expected to be introduced on Friday.] Only males can currently become Emperor, and there are only four heirs left to the Chrysanthemum Throne. However, the restriction on female succession dates back to an 1889 Meiji government law, and was retained in the 1947 postwar Constitution. Japan has had six Empress regnants in the past, the most recent reigning from 1762 to 1771. The sons of female royal family members are also not currently in the line of succession, as only the male offspring of the male line can succeed the throne.

MonarchyNews is subjects.


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Politics: Japan's Liberal Democratic Party Wins Election, Could Revise Pacifist Constitution 19 comments

Japan's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) coalition has won big in the recent elections and may eventually push for changes in Japan's constitution, although such plans are tentative:

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling bloc scored a big win in Sunday's election, bolstering his chance of becoming the nation's longest-serving premier and re-energizing his push to revise the pacifist constitution. Abe's Liberal Democratic Party-led (LDP) coalition won a combined 312 seats, keeping its two-thirds "super majority" in the 465-member lower house, local media said.

A hefty win raises the likelihood that Abe, who took office in December 2012, will secure a third three-year term as LDP leader next September and go on to become Japan's longest-serving premier. It also means his "Abenomics" growth strategy centered on the hyper-easy monetary policy will likely continue.

[...] The U.S.-drafted constitution's Article 9, if taken literally, bans the maintenance of armed forces. But Japanese governments have interpreted it to allow a military exclusively for self-defense. Backers of Abe's proposal to clarify the military's ambiguous status say it would codify the status quo. Critics fear it would allow an expanded role overseas for the military. Abe said he would not stick to a target he had floated of making the changes by 2020. "First, I want to deepen debate and have as many people as possible agree," he told a TV broadcaster. "We should put priority on that."

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly benefited from tensions with North Korea and is likely to serve as Prime Minister until 2021:

The elections were a result of a risky move on Abe's part. He dissolved the lower house of parliament last month and called for fresh elections a year earlier than scheduled to "face a national crisis" in North Korea. It was a gamble, considering Abe's approval ratings over the past year have ranged from iffy to dismal. One Washington Post headline from the summer read "Japanese prime minister's poll numbers are so low they make Trump's look good." "Abe is personally not that popular of a guy," Hu said. "But after North Korean missiles flew over Japan two times this year, Abe's popularity shot back up."

Also at The Diplomat and Bloomberg. Japanese general election, 2017.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by AthanasiusKircher on Friday May 19 2017, @02:10PM (3 children)

    by AthanasiusKircher (5291) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 19 2017, @02:10PM (#512178) Journal

    Did anyone else see the phrase "expected to reignite debate" and briefly parse the third word as "reign-ite" instead of "re-ignite"? That's the danger of monarchical thinking -- it can even change your view of grammar!

    • (Score: 2) by Nuke on Friday May 19 2017, @07:20PM (2 children)

      by Nuke (3162) on Friday May 19 2017, @07:20PM (#512309)

      The article is a stange mix of topics. The headline made it sprang into my mind that a succession crisis had occurred because the King of Japan had co-piloted a plane in a kamikaze attack. It must be the way my mind works.

      PS: Yes I know Japan has an emperor not a king, and kamikazes didn't have co-pilots.

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday May 20 2017, @12:16AM

        by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday May 20 2017, @12:16AM (#512447) Journal

        kamikazes didn't have co-pilots.

        "Kami" is their co-pilot.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 20 2017, @12:18AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 20 2017, @12:18AM (#512450)

        It must be the way my mind works.

        Something funny happened when they dropped you on Japan.

  • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Friday May 19 2017, @02:43PM (1 child)

    by ikanreed (3164) on Friday May 19 2017, @02:43PM (#512196)

    The one political context where the term "republican" doesn't instill instant disdain in me.

    I mean, in some ways, having a totally powerless figurehead is kinda quaint and cute, but even then, you have cases where Thailand where the figurehead is used as an excuse to arrest and detain people critical of government policies.

    • (Score: 2) by nobu_the_bard on Friday May 19 2017, @02:51PM

      by nobu_the_bard (6373) on Friday May 19 2017, @02:51PM (#512201)

      I highly doubt they would have let something as minor as not having a monarch get in the way of making up an excuse, though. Lots of other countries haven't needed one for that.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by inertnet on Friday May 19 2017, @02:47PM (11 children)

    by inertnet (4071) on Friday May 19 2017, @02:47PM (#512198)

    I fail to see how this is an "article about technology, science, and general interest".

    There are probably lots of other sites where people can follow royalty and celebrities. So why post this here?

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @02:57PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @02:57PM (#512202)

      Have you failed to notice this a political discourse site?

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @03:01PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @03:01PM (#512204) Journal

        The change has been noticed. The problem with politic discourse that doesn't have a clear and relevant impact is endless debate that leads to just less attention spent elsewhere.
        Like introducing SOPA etc.

    • (Score: 2) by zocalo on Friday May 19 2017, @03:01PM (1 child)

      by zocalo (302) on Friday May 19 2017, @03:01PM (#512205)
      Well, as someone who has flown several flights on KLM's F70s over the years, I'm now kinda curious about who my pilots were and hoping that the Dutch will maybe publish a list of Willem-Alexander's flights at some point. It's also kind of cool that growing numbers of the various remaining monarchies are more and more willing to get more hands on with the kinds of things that the general public do without it being some kind of PR event. If only our actually rulers in the political sphere would do the same...
      --
      UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @06:29PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @06:29PM (#512291)

        Plenty of them have in the past. The difference was they often would NEVER disclose this fact because it was unacceptable for a Royal to be seen sullying their hands like a commoner, except under the most exceptional of circumstances (This is one of those bell curve things where in the far past it was acceptable, it rose to a point where it was unacceptable in different regions, and in some of those regions it has declined to acceptable normalcy again.)

        Having said that: Yes, it is nice to see royalty performing activities that one would either consider normal, or could be considered something of a non-photo op public service.

    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday May 19 2017, @03:07PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Friday May 19 2017, @03:07PM (#512211)

      I fail to see how this is an "article about technology, science, and general interest".

      How is this not general interest?

      Would you consider some random country in the Middle East getting its government toppled to be not newsworthy, too?

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by its_gonna_be_yuge! on Friday May 19 2017, @03:51PM (3 children)

      by its_gonna_be_yuge! (6454) on Friday May 19 2017, @03:51PM (#512227)

      Genetics is an interesting field, isn't it? The genetics of the Japanese royal family is a good study. The inevitable degradation of mental and physical acuity associated with constant inbreeding within a fixed social class is evident here.

      Nobody has ever accused Akihito of being the sharpest blade in the box. When he talks, it's like listening to a 12 year old speaking through a wet cloth. They tried to improve their genetic traits by bringing in a bright woman (Masako) as the wife to the crown prince, but the royal family and staff suffocated the spark out of her. She's had mental issues ever since.

      Darwin will eventually catch up with this bunch, but for now the Japanese people have to put up with substandard heads of state. Just as England does - especially if Chucky ends up on top.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @04:11PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @04:11PM (#512235)

        For what it's worth, while Prince Charles has had his regrettable moments, when the spotlight is off him he has actually done some rather good work on the front of wildlife conservation and organic farming and so on.

        I'm no royalist, but if there is to be a king, it may as well be someone with an eye on the future and ecology.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bob_super on Friday May 19 2017, @04:40PM

          by bob_super (1357) on Friday May 19 2017, @04:40PM (#512246)

          He might keep being more useful if he followed precedent, abdicated because of his woman, let the charismatic kid and his wife be the popular figureheads, and kept pushing his causes without the constraints of being king.

        • (Score: 2) by its_gonna_be_yuge! on Friday May 19 2017, @07:29PM

          by its_gonna_be_yuge! (6454) on Friday May 19 2017, @07:29PM (#512315)

          Sure. Chucky talks to his plants.

          And who could forget his remarks in 2004 that people should know their "god-given" places in life. As if somehow his place was given by god.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Phoenix666 on Friday May 19 2017, @04:03PM

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 19 2017, @04:03PM (#512231) Journal

      Submit more science/tech articles, if you have them. Fridays, weekends, and holidays are good times to get your feet wet since there are usually fewer articles in the queue then. Less pressure on submitters.

      I tend to harvest a bunch from various feeds on tues-thus and batch them in so the editors can schedule them for weekends if they want, or keep them open on tabs in the browser in case the pipeline dries up.

      Generally speaking, if tech/sci articles have been submitted they'll get preference over other subjects.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @05:19PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @05:19PM (#512263)

      > why post this here?

      Flight nerds.

      The princess bit, nipponophiles.

  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @02:57PM (4 children)

    by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @02:57PM (#512203) Journal

    Naruhito and Fumihito are both eligible to be emperor, so no problem?
    Maybe a new law to permit abdication should instituted?

    • (Score: 2) by tekk on Friday May 19 2017, @08:39PM (3 children)

      by tekk (5704) on Friday May 19 2017, @08:39PM (#512366)

      They're drafting the law, but the problem in Japan is longer term: Akihito's son will inherit the throne when he resigns. The problem is that Akihito has only one grandson, and the treaty that the US forced on Japan disqualified every royal house but the one that Akihito is part of from succession (presumably to cause a situation exactly like this later down the line.) If something happens to the son then unless there's a new son born, Japan's royal line, which according to them and their genealogy is an unbroken line extending from the Yamato clan in 500 BC, is gone in our lifetime.

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @09:21PM (2 children)

        by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @09:21PM (#512383) Journal

        There should be at least 3 persons that can replace the emperor?

        Naruhito (1960) has one daughter Aiko.
        Fumihito (1965) has two daughters Mako, Kako and one son Hisahito.

        Naruhito, Fumihito, Hisahito in that order. Or is that wrong? ie if Naruhito becomes emperor then the children of Fumihito cannot succeed as emperor?

        • (Score: 2) by tekk on Friday May 19 2017, @09:33PM (1 child)

          by tekk (5704) on Friday May 19 2017, @09:33PM (#512391)

          No, that's correct as I understand it. Like I said, the problem is a long term one: they're in a tight spot if something happens to Hisaito, including Hisaito not having a son. If Hisaito fails to produce an heir then there is no one to succeed.

          • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19 2017, @11:28PM

            by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19 2017, @11:28PM (#512435) Journal

            Naruhito and Fumihito will have to produce more children? 53 and 50 to rear a child is doable. The risk of defects increases however.

            But if they decide to permit female heirs that would improve a lot.

            (btw, those daughters look pretty ;) )

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Phoenix666 on Friday May 19 2017, @03:56PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 19 2017, @03:56PM (#512229) Journal

    If the king is flying your airplane you're in dutch.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Friday May 19 2017, @04:11PM (5 children)

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 19 2017, @04:11PM (#512234) Homepage Journal

    I really wanted to see this thing as a huge passenger carrying bi-plane.

    Really, really.

    That would have been soooooo cool.

    --
    --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @04:31PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @04:31PM (#512242)

      ...What?

      • (Score: 2) by deadstick on Saturday May 20 2017, @02:09AM

        by deadstick (5110) on Saturday May 20 2017, @02:09AM (#512480)

        He's thinking of some of the airplanes Fokker built for Germany in WW1. Monoplanes, biplanes, triplanes...

    • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Friday May 19 2017, @04:42PM

      by mhajicek (51) on Friday May 19 2017, @04:42PM (#512247)

      And the pilot was Roy Fokker.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @08:08PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19 2017, @08:08PM (#512345)

      Wasn't the Fokker a tri-plane?

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