11:33 14 March 2016
Abe slams U.N. panel viewing Japan imperial law as discriminatory
TOKYO, March 14, Kyodo
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday accused a U.N. panel of wrongly judging Japan's imperial law as discriminatory to women after it sought to call for the amendment of the law that limits the emperor's heir to male offspring in the male line.
"It is obvious that (the law) does not intend to discriminate against women," said Abe in speaking at an upper house committee meeting, adding that the U.N. panel's move was "totally inappropriate."
The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women was preparing a recommendation for Japan to revise the law and allow women descendants in the female line also to succeed to the throne.
Tokyo lodged a protest after seeing the draft text, prompting the panel to retract its criticism of the law in the final text released March 7.
Abe said the imperial household system, rooted in the country's history and traditions, has long been supported by the public, and he intends to strengthen efforts to widely share such information.
"I would like to take every opportunity to encourage people to have a proper understanding of Japanese history and culture so that no such case ever occurs again," he said.
The U.N. panel is tasked with monitoring nations' compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. It held discussions on Japan with a senior Japanese official on Feb. 16 in Geneva.