The government's advisory panel on securing a stable line of imperial succession has kicked off a series of meetings this week, with discussions over the coming months set to focus on whether the country should break with tradition and allow female members of the emperor's family to ascend the throne.

The six-member panel will hear from experts in various fields and is aiming to reach a conclusion by this fall, at which point it will present its findings to the Diet.

"The topic you are discussing is an important issue concerning the nation's basis," Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said at the start of the meeting on Tuesday. "I hope you will hear a range of views and present them in a way that is easy to understand."