Line of succession to the Japanese throne
The line of succession to the Japanese throne is the list of all people that may once become Emperor of Japan.
Line of succession 
The following is the current order of succession to the Japanese throne:
- HIM Emperor Taishō (1879–1926)
- HIM Emperor Shōwa (1901–1989)
- (5) HIH The Prince Mikasa (b. 1915)
- HIH Prince Tomohito of Mikasa (1946–2012)
- (6) HIH The Prince Katsura (b. 1948)
- HIH The Prince Takamado (1954–2002)
Succession rules 
Article 2 of the Constitution of Japan provides that "The Imperial Throne shall be dynastic and succeeded to in accordance with the Imperial Household Law passed by the Diet." The Imperial Household Law of 1947 enacted by the 92nd and last session of the Imperial Diet, retained the exclusion on female dynasts found in the 1889 law. The government of Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida hastily cobbled together the legislation to bring the Imperial House in compliance with the American-written Constitution of Japan that went into effect in May 1947. In an effort to control the size of the imperial family, the law stipulates that only legitimate male descendants in the male line can be dynasts; that naishinnō (imperial princesses) and joō (princesses) lose their status as imperial family-members if they marry outside the imperial family; that shinnō (imperial princes), other than the crown prince, ō (princes), unmarried imperial princesses and princesses, and the widows of imperial princes and princes may, upon their own request or in the event of special circumstances, renounce their membership in the imperial family with approval of the Imperial House Council; and that the Emperor and other members of the imperial family may not adopt children.
Succession crisis 
Before September 2006, there was a potential succession crisis since no male child had been born into the imperial family since Prince Akishino in 1965. Following the birth of Princess Toshi, there was some public debate about amending the Imperial House Law to allow female descendants of an emperor and their descendants to succeed to the throne. In January 2005, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi appointed a special panel of judges, university professors, and civil servants to study changes to the Imperial House Law and to make recommendations to the government.
On January 24, 2005, the Japanese government announced that it would consider allowing the Crown Prince and Crown Princess to adopt a male child, in order to avoid a possible succession disputes. Adoption from other male-line branches of the Imperial Line is an age-old imperial Japanese tradition for dynastic purposes, prohibited only in modern times by Western influence. The child would presumably be adopted from one of the former imperial branches which lost imperial status after World War II. However, a government-appointed panel of experts submitted a report on October 25, 2005, recommending that the imperial succession law be amended to permit absolute primogeniture.