This has been in the works for a while, but apparently the cogs of bureaucracy have started moving:
The panel last week recommended revising Japanese law to give an emperor’s first-born child of either sex the right to head the world’s oldest hereditary monarchy.
The revision, if approved, is expected to make Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako’s only child Aiko â€” who celebrated her 4th birthday Thursday â€” second in line to the throne, behind her father.
Support for the change is high. A recent poll by the nationwide newspaper Asahi showed 78 percent of the respondents were in favor of a reigning empress.[From Japan to Submit Female Succession Bill from Yahoo! News]
78% popular support doesn’t suck. It’s not the prime ministry, but the imperial family is a huge part of Japanese culture and, if nothing else, they serve as the cultural and spiritual leaders of the country. And, there’s something to be said of changing sexist laws, even if only because there doesn’t seem to be any other choice.