Japan's Princess Kiko, wife of the second son of Emperor Akihito, today gave birth to the first male born to the imperial family in almost 41 years. Females cannot succeed to the throne, so the boy becomes third in line after his uncle Crown Prince Naruhito and his father Prince Akishino.
So, basically, here's their problem. They won't let females ascend the throne, and they haven't been having male children. There was talk of revising the law to allow females to the throne (86% of the population favours the idea, by the way), but the politicos bitched about it and the proposal was pulled. Oh, certain members actually mentioned it might be a good idea to revive the practice of using concubines. I guess whores in the royal family are better than a little progress, huh? Someone also suggested allowing females in the family to retain their royal status even when they get married outside of royalty, but they fear that it could lead to a, quote, "blue-eyed foreigner," unquote, creating a child that might sit on the throne, and former trade minister Takeo Hiranuma said "We should never let that happen."
So much for caring about the will of the people. Or enlightenment. Or progress. Or much of anything.