Crown Princess Masako is

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Crown Princess Masako is having a baby and the nation's lawmakers are having a cow.

The princess is married to the heir to the Imperial throne. The country has waited (somewhat impatiently) for her to produce an heir. If she and her husband welcome a boy into the world, the young prince will be second in line to the throne. If they deliver a girl, Japan has no direct successor to the crown prince.

Even though there were several ruling Empresses in ancient history, as the law stands now only men may inherit the crown of Japan. However that may change. The Diet will soon decide whether to change the Imperial Household Law to allow females to succeed to the throne.

If we see a woman on the Chrysanthemum Throne, will women fare better in society in general? It's an interesting question and I hope we get to discover its answer.

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