The government is considering giving a new honorific title to female imperial family members who lose their imperial status after marriage to enable them to engage in public duties, government sources said Monday.

Concerns have grown that the number of imperial family members will shrink further down the road, leading to fewer members performing public duties.

Under the 1947 Imperial House Law, only males with patrilineal lineage can ascend the throne. Women who marry commoners must leave the imperial family.