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Japan is considering stepping up discussions on ways to secure a stable imperial succession by establishing an advisory panel to solicit views from experts on the issue, government and ruling party sources said Friday.

The plan is part of the government's efforts to address concerns that the imperial household could run out of heirs in the not-so-distant future. Many conservative lawmakers and academics are seeking to maintain male-only succession rules, while the public widely supports allowing women to ascend to the throne.

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