Heir of desperation as Japan wrestles with looming royal succession crisis

Experts convened to consider changing male-only succession laws amid preponderance of women in the royal family

A panel of experts has begun talks on addressing the shortage of heirs to the Japanese imperial throne, as a poll showed that four in five members of the public are comfortable with the idea of women becoming reigning empresses.

Solving the succession crisis has taken on greater urgency due to a scarcity of males in the world’s oldest monarchy and the abdication, for health reasons, of Emperor Akihito.

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