While Emperor Akihito is revered by the older and more conservative people and adored by most of the younger generation, he and the rest of the Imperial Family mostly fulfill a ceremonial rule in Japanese society and does not meddle in political issues. A Japanese lawmaker who made a move to inform him of the anti-nuclear cause has earned the ire of a lot of people in the country.
Taro Yamamoto, a vocal anti-nuclear activist, former actor and now independent lawmaker handed a letter to the Emperor during a garden party at the Akasaka Palace imperial garden on Thursday. He said he only wanted to tell the Emperor directly about the nuclear situation and his fears over the continued harmful effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. “I wanted him to know about the children who have been contaminated by radiation. If this goes on, there will be serious health impacts,” Yamamoto added. He said Akihito acknowledged his letter which he then passed on to a chamberlain, but did not make any comment.
There were a lot of critical netizens, calling Yamamoto out on breaking the “taboo” of involving a member of the Imperial Family in politics. Some have even called on him to resign for what many see as a major gaffe for the young politician. Even Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in a news conference that he disapproved of the lawmaker’s actions. “There is a line for appropriate behaviour at such an occasion,” Suga said.
[ via The Star Online ]