I can’t help but be amused by the odd outbursts of some Japanese politicians regarding the possiblity of allowing women to accede to the throne (which seems increasingly necessary in the continuing absence of any male heirs).

Former Trade Minister Takeo Hiranuma told supporters that the move could dilute the imperial line if Princess Aiko married and had children with ‘a blue-eyed foreigner’.

Interestingly, however, the Imperial line is not purely Japanese, at least according to the Emperor himself:

‘I, on my part, feel a certain kinship with Korea, given the fact that it is recorded in the Chronicles of Japan that the mother of Emperor Kammu was of the line of King Muryong of Paekche,’ he told reporters.

Still, I don’t think that they need to worry about big-nosed foreign devils upsetting the racial line yet: Princess Aiko is only four years old. A blue-eyed Japanese Emperor seems about as likely as a black King of England at the present time.