About 80% of respondents in a recent Kyodo News poll said they would accept both a reigning empress and an emperor descending from a female member of the imperial family as the number of viable heirs shrinks.

The results of the survey conducted by mail in March and April were broadly in line with the outcome of the previous Kyodo poll on the issue conducted last year, indicating an overwhelming majority of people support changes to the rule limiting imperial succession to men from the paternal line.

The latest survey conducted ahead of Constitution Memorial Day on Monday also showed 67% were opposed to the idea of reinstating male patrilineal descendants of the now-abolished collateral branches of the imperial family who abandoned their status in 1947.