A Pregnant Pause

Japan seems to have averted the prospect of revolutionary change. In January 2005, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi appointed a panel to develop suggestions for warding off a looming succession crisis in the imperial family. By law and eons of tradition, the Japanese throne can pass only to males with emperors on the father's side. But no boys have been born into the family since 1965. Crown Prince Naruhito, 45, and his wife Masako, 42, have had only one daughter, 4-year-old Aiko. Naruhito's brother, Prince Akishino, 40, and his wife, Kiko, 39, have two daughters. So Koizumi's panel suggested that succession should...

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