The Emperor and the Constitution: Japan's Imperial Succession Question

March 07, 2017 • 12:30 PM • Law School 4055
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Foreign constitutions hold just as many, if not more, legal complexities as ours. In August of 2016, Emperor Akihito's wish to abdicate the throne has triggered a fascinating debate about a previously obscure area of Japanese constitutional law: the rules of imperial succession. In doing so he has also brought attention to the ongoing viability of the shrinking imperial family and its long term viability as a constitutional institution. Professors Colin Jones (Doshisha University) and Carl Goodman (Georgetown University) will discuss the historical and constitutional factors that make the seemingly simple desire of an aging emperor to retire a surprisingly complex issue. Sponsored by the International Law Society and the Duke Asian/Pacific Studies Institute. For more information, please contact Suzie Jing at