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Japan's Reiwa era

Japan's shrinking royal family reignites debate on women's role

Prime Minister Abe unsupportive of allowing female emperors

TOKYO -- The ascension of the new emperor has left Japan with just three eligible heirs to the throne, raising serious concerns about stable Imperial succession and likely rekindling a debate about expanding the role of royal women, including allowing female emperors.

But such a change is firmly opposed by traditionalists within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe remains reluctant to embrace the idea, making an immediate change unlikely.

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