Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The chrysanthemum throne gets a male heir

Japan breathes a collective sigh of relief: Princess Kiko has given birth to a boy.

By automatically becoming third in line for the throne, the newborn lad, who won't be named until next week, forestalls any succession concerns for another generation. Previously, the absence of a male heir had been the cause of a highly charged debate over whether to allow a princess to ascend to the throne for the first time in a thousand years, or to re-royalize a branch of the imperial family that had been de-royalized after the war.

Hooray! We avoid what could have been an ugly national showdown!

—Mellow Monk

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