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MonarchyNews: The King is My Co-Pilot and Japanese Succession "Crisis"

Accepted submission by takyon at 2017-05-18 05:00:15
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King Willem-Alexander [wikipedia.org] of the Netherlands has revealed to a Dutch newspaper that he has flown as a co-pilot [bbc.com] for the airline KLM [wikipedia.org] about twice per month for the last 21 years. His flying hobby will require retraining to fly Boeing 737s [wikipedia.org], as the airline is phasing out its Fokker 70s [wikipedia.org]. 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 [bbc.com], 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" [nytimes.com]. 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 [wikipedia.org], the most recent reigning from 1762 to 1771. The sons of female royal family members are also not currently in the line of succession [japantimes.co.jp], as only the male offspring of the male line can succeed the throne.

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