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tv   France 24  LINKTV  October 27, 2021 5:30am-6:01am PDT

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historic treasure. ♪ >> hello there. a committee of brazilian centers is recommending nickel charges against the country's president's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. the attorney general has 30 days to decide if bolsonaro should face charges of crimes against humanity. more than 600,000 people died of coronavirus in brazil. reporter: this damming report was approved and they will be
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sending now to the attorney general. and the attorney general, who was appointed by president jair bolsonaro, and may be biased towards him, has 30 days to get a response. he has to say whether he except the charges were not. there are nine charges or total -- in total. the most serious is the president being accused of crimes against humanity. >> the military has made more arrests following monday's coup. protests have continued late into the night, but the military leader says he had to seize power. u.s. secretary of state antony blinken has spoken to sudan's prime minister was detained monday but is now reportedly back to his residence. a u.n. climate report is filled with promises to cut emissions
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is not enough to meet the paris agreement targets. it says there's a 60% chance temperatures will rise nearly double that. many g20 nations are going to release more gases in 2030 than they did 11 years ago. indigenous communities across ecuador are protesting against the government's economic policies, demanding the president reverse a rise in a crisis announced last week. those are the headlines. stay with us here on al jazeera. "inside story" is next. ♪ hashem: japan's not so royal
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wedding. princess goes through with her decision to marry a non-royal, giving up her title, sparking massive media scrutiny and a public outcry. what does the future hold for the world's oldest monarchy? this is "inside story." ♪ hello and welcome to the program. i am hashem ahelbarra. royal marriage laws have drawn a lot of controversy in a number of monarchies. a recent union in japan is no different. this highlights the pressure women face after years of scrutiny. princess mako married her college sweetheart, kei komuro,
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who is not a royal. but mako had to give up her royal title to do so. the former princess was never in line to the throne because japanese law does not give women that right. many japanese people say they think the law should be amended to allow female members of the royal family to be in the line of succession. we will discuss that with our guests shortly. but first, this report. reporter: as a royal, japan's princess mako did not bow to criticism, or intense public scrutiny about her marrying the man she loves. instead, with a somber farewell at the doors of the imperial residence, she said goodbye to her family and her royal title. it was not a typical fairytale japanese royal wedding. mako komuro as she is now known, skipped the wedding
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ceremony and rituals, instead filing marriage papers before making a media statement. >> to me, kei is an irreplaceable person and for us, marriage was a necessary choice to live while cherishing our hearts. >> i love mako. i want to spend my only life with someone i love. on till now we have shared and encouraged various feelings, both when we were happy and when we were not. reporter: princess mako grew up in a royal system that heaps extra pressure on fema members. her engagement brought even more intense media spotlight, including around a financial scandal involving her husband's family. doctors say she is still recovering from a form of ptsd, but despite her personal struggles, public opinion remains divided on the marriage. >> i am very much against those who are against this marriage
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and sincerely wish mako to be happy. the most important thing is that she is happy in the future. >> the media coverage of the story was, it seems to me, exaggerated, and i feel sorry for her in that sense. but on the other hand she had a symbolic status, a pillar of our country. reporter: japan's male royals can marry outside freely, but for women, it means forfeiting the royal status. japan is also one of the few monarchies with only a main line of succession, in a country that already runs poorly -- ranks poorly in gender equality. it leaves the imperial family with just 17 members. only three are heirs to the throne. for some, princess mako's tumultuous engagement is perhaps a missed opportunity to make symbolic changes to old traditions. as a couple prepares for a new life abroad.
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hashem: let's bring in our guest. in tokyo, nancy snow, professor of public diplomacy at kyoto university of foreign studies. seijiro takeshita, professor of management. and also in tokyo, farrah hasnain, who is researcher and writer at the japan times. welcome to the program. nancy, why is it in modern times in a place like japan, for a princess to choose a college sweetheart who is not a royal to be her husband, that it creates all this drama in japan? why did she have to go through this ordeal? nancy: it really was not that dramatic at the start. these were two who fell in love early on when they were undergraduates at international
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christian university. and they were scheduled to have a very royal wedding in 2018, i believe, three years ago. but unfortunately, there was tabloid media that dug up some dirt on the family background of her fiance. and in japan, you have to acknowledge that you are not -- i mean she is a member of the royal family, but also he is somebody who has a background as a commoner that is going to come under scrutiny. and also his mother had some money that she had to pay back, and it just began to unravel so that they had to not only postpone the marriage, but ultimately have a very quiet wedding ceremony behind the
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scenes today. and then have a prepared statement before the press. and now they are going to move onto the biggest media market in the world, new york city. and they have asked to lead a private life as a young married couple. so all we can do is really wish them the very best. but the fact that she comes from the imperial family adds so much gravitas to this, because so many japanese people really look at the imperial family as the soul of this country. hashem: ok. princess mako chose an outsider, a commoner to be her husband. this saturday -- suddenly created all this media coverage about his mother's financial troubles, media supports -- reports suggesting he is not 50 marry someone from the imperial household.
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-- not fit to marry someone from the imperial household. is it because they are very keen on protecting the house, or is it because of the conservative nature of the japanese people we are having all this drama about a princess marrying a commoner? seijiro: i think it is both, plus the fact that there are many people who still want to be a virtual peeping tom in regards to this tableau -- tablet issue. very unfortunate. but most japanese still think of the royal family as a very strong symbol of their identity. for that reason, many people feel they wanted to have a person who is extremely clean in their background. but again, the fact of the matter is it's none of our business to start out with. it's two individuals who are getting married. certainly the debt -- that is no t how the surrounding media and
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those people who benefit from rocking the boat feel that way. and unfortunately, has resulted in very much of a dirt-throwing type of issue as a whole. and the question of the whole issue should have been about the human rights and how the royal family should fare from here onwards. but certainly that is not the issue people have been talking about. they have been focusing on the issue of her fiance and yourself, etc. -- and herself, etc. the argues have really focused around eight tabloid-like issue rather than the bigger issue. hashem: should we blame the media for the fact that a marriage was supposed to be the happy event for the royal family, and it ended up being just as pictures we saw, mako saying goodbye to her parents, her sister embracing her, then
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moving into the marriage office. farrah: i think honestly, it is a combination of several things. first and foremost, i definitely think the media is pushing the narrative of it, especially the international media. for example, i keep seeing articles saying japan's biggest scandal with this commoner marion princess mako. but honestly if you talk to anyone who is actually princess mako's age, including myself, nobody really cares about who she marries, or even her life, really. i am actually a student at international christian university. i talked to my current --- classmates and several people i know, and none of them knew about the wedding or that the press conference was today. so it seems to be a specifically niche topic. i think with the media is portraying is not an accurate
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portrayal of what the general population thinks. just a niche segment of it. but yeah, i remember when the quote unquote scandal broke out, they were just obsessed about what kei komuro was wearing. his pinstripe suit, which he wo re any way to today's press conference, and his ponytail which he had. at this point it is being nitpicky and they are trying to make this story. it is very convenient they are sensationalizing this event when the japanese house representative elections are coming. hashem: the dramatic exit of princess mako from the royal life invited many media companies in japan to draw comparisons with the british royal family, particularly prince harry and his wife meghan markle. how would you say the comparison is? nancy: i think there is no comparison there, because meghan markle and harry, they have
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really taken on this embrace of hollywood, and they have got all these deals, these mega deals. they want it both ways. they want to have this private life and they also want to really bank a lot. they live just outside of los angeles in montecito, and oprah winfrey is a neighbor. so this is a very different scenario because this young couple has said we want a private life. we are not going to make mega deals. he's already with a substantive law firm in new york city. we do not yet know what princess mako is going to do, but again, i would agree it is their business and they are not going to take on a very public profile. at least if you can go by the few remarks in the prepared statement today. clearly princess mako said that
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her upset and her illness and her inability to really speak too openly today had to do with this libelous coverage, this sort of incessant media coverage. so i think they would be pulling back. so the comparison to harry and meghan has been so public, it is just a useful hook in the media, but i do not think it is that accurate. hashem: now that the princess is going to disappear from public life in japan, move to the u.s. to live with her husband, do you think this could be the moment for more contemplation of what is next for the throne in japan? should the well family reinvent itself? because obviously you can see they are under mounting pressure by many people. seijiro: i would like to think there will be argumentation or at least discussion about how the royal family, or i would say
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the way these ministers are being run as a whole, which is excessively secretive and excessively conservative. the fact of the matter is is that in this case, she could become now commoner. but if for example a lady gets married to a japanese royal family, then she would lose her right as a human being. if you join the royal family. i know it is something that sounds very strange, but it still remains to be true. but it's very little talked about. and these kind of issues are the things that should have been talked about, but hardly anyone talks about it. they all talk very much about tabloid manner as the two ladies have been expressing right now so far. one example is that the couple
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have basically declined to receive a one-time payment of $1.5 million, which again shows you that they really want to lead a private life. at least in this case, she has a chose to do this. but if this was a lady getting married to the royal family, she loses her right as a human being. these are things that should have been discussed about, but certainly i have not heard a whim about this at all. hashem: so we are talking about gender equality at the end of the day. in a place like japan, many people were not expecting this to be happening in a place like japan, which is one of the most advanced societies in the world. farrah: yeah, royal japan is one of the big g-7 countries. it still has one of the largest gender gaps in the world. and i remember watching the
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meghan markle interview with oprah a few months ago and i noticed some parallels. in this situation is quite different. there is less of a nuance with race and attacks within the family compared to meghan markle's situation. what they did experience a certain level of trauma, because they are always under the public eye and they have to act a certain way. as i was listening to the press conferences, she always has to speak very proper japanese and has to exert herself, express herself in a certain way. so i think disproportionately, women are under pressure to act that way too, if they are in a royal family especially. hashem: if you look back at the history of the imperial family in japan, they all had to go through huge pressure to produce
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male heirs to the throne, or to readjust to this strict life within the imperial household. and those stories were always shrouded in secrecy because it was the royal family, and therefore you have to be careful about those stories. do you think this could be the moment to give those people more voices to talk about exactly what they had to undergo to be part of the royal family? nancy: yeah, i don't see it really going in that direction, because we don't really know how this story is going to grow legs. this couple is planning to relocate to new york city maybe as early as next month. they are applying now -- she is applying for a passport. she has not had one as a member of the royal family. but i wanted to just address the
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issue of mental illness, or having challenges mentally, especially attached to women. i think that it can be somewhat problematic if you characterize women living in a society like japan where the gender equality gap is so wide that they struggle so much. and this came out recently with princess mako being diagnosed with complex ptsd. i have no reason to really question that, but this often comes up that women suffer so much when they go under public scrutiny. and we have to figure out ways to empower both women and men to speak for themselves and to be able to find their voices so that they can get beyond just what can be so quickly labeled as being a victim, as opposed to one who is really able to find
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herself. and i would hope that now in this new life in new york that she, princess mako, can start her own career, go into the arts and culture and we will have to wait and see. but she may do it privately and she will do it her own way. but the bottom line though, i do not think it will suddenly open up others to talk about the pressures that they were under. that's an added pressure to talk so openly about those pressures. hashem: those laws, traditional laws of the royal family, are not only creating problems for women, but they are creating a problem for the dynasty itself to the point where the imperial household now is running out of male heirs to the throne. when you look at the other male members, you have the crown prince and his son. don't you think this could now
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lead to a profound debate about the need to reform the royal family to the point where they can bring back the branches of the royal family that were scrapped in 1945, or bring women back into the household, even when they get married to non-royals? seijiro: as i was saying, that is directly where the direction of the debate should have gone. rather than looking at these very petty issues of how the couple communicates or how they behave. which is important, i would say, a part of creating identity, i understand that. but rather than pinpointing about these issues they should have been talking about how the royal family's future should be changed. as you say, physically speaking, obviously there is a problem, and also their ideology is obviously, or people who support
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that, is obviously outdated by decades. if you look at, for example, i have not seen a cold hard analysis of this, but i think it would be interesting if you did. in other words, how people feel about this depending on your age group. i think it would be clear, they would be a clear differentiation between the younger generation and the older generation. what we have to do is inherit the values of the younger generation as well, which basically should have connected to issues you were talking about. but again, it should have gone there, but unfortunately the debate and argumentation and people's concern are on a very low tabloid level and have not gone above that so far. hashem: we are talking about a country now where women are taking up serious positions in the government, in political parties, and vying to become
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sooner or later prime minister of japan. do you think this is going to be the preview to starting a real debate also about the need to give women the right to become in the line of succession to the throne? farrah: i am not sure if it will go as far as to let women join the throne, but i definitely know it will definitely start more conversations about gender equality for sure. especially when referencing the situation with princess mako, i did notice on social media in japanese a lot of women began to talk about the double standards between women and men, people of different genders. and attaining royal status. and comparing that to promotions in the workplace. so i do believe the conversations are getting bigger, and there is potential for change. hashem: old dynasties usually do
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not embrace change quickly, because they think that can be paving the way to risky unknown. in the case of japan, could that be the moment to start that, or the need to have a more modern monarchy of imperial household that is more receptive to the concerns of its own people? nancy: japan really has no choice. the demographics are against the country in terms of the low fertility and the shrinking size of the imperial family. they are going to have to change. now, the rate at which they change may be more modest here. it is not usually a radical change. but you have a japanese people, a public, if they were listened to, there would already be a change in place. it is just that the imperial family cannot make that change.
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it would have to come from the government, and the government skews to the far right, or at lease plays to that constituency, many of whom are traditionalists and don't want any change, don't want women to take over the throne, even though that is in their history going back centuries. so, it's inevitable, but a public very often is ignored. hashem: speaking of that, princess mako's father was reportedly have said three years ago i will only give my consent of the people of japan give consent to this marriage. who should change their mind first, the royal family or the japanese people? seijiro: both. obviously the marriage should be focused on the people who are getting married rather than the surrounding families or whoever. so, i think his statement itself
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already tells you how embraced and how locked these people are. quite unfortunately, partly because the japanese public as a whole has a very strong conservative nature. in fact, amongst old people in the world, we have the highest level of risk avoidance. it is not only individuals, but corporations and organizations as well. there is a tendency that people stick to the status quo and would not like to make quick changes. but this is particularly showing quite vividly in areas like royal family household. hashem: normally this story belongs to the fairytales, but because of the very particular circumstances in a place like japan, you have all this controversy about a princess who decides to marry her college sweetheart, but then people say you have to adhere to the traditional values of a nation like japan, which is widely considered as one of the oldest
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dynasties in the world for the time being. nancy snow, seijiro takeshita, and farrah hasnain, i really appreciate your insight. thank you. and thank you for watching. you can see the program again any time by visiting our website. go to our facebook page as well. you can join the conversation as well on twitter. from me and the entire team, bye for now. ♪
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