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Old 2012-06-22, 14:30   Link #880
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
I found the post below at:

Japan’s Prime Minister and First Lady Are First Cousins
The last few prime ministers of Japan originated from political dynasties that were the products of various marriages between political and business elites. While cases like Taro Aso presented a fascinating mix of blue blood, it would be a bit of an exaggeration to say that inbreeding had been taking place.

What about the new Prime Minister, Naoto Kan? Blogger Michael Cucek has pointed out something rather interesting about Kan’s marriage:

What everyone has either been ignoring, willfully or not, is that the PM and his wife are related.

Closely related.

First cousins, in fact. If online family trees are correct, Kan Naoto’s mother and his wife Nobuko’s father are sister and brother.

Whilst first cousin marriage is the most common form of marriage in pre-modern societies and was not at all rare in even urban areas in pre-war Japan, it has become a rarity in this modern, mass education, mobile age. While obviously legal (just barely) it has been driven out by a mass inculcation of the belief that first cousin marriage carries an unacceptable risk of birth defects, should there be children. Indeed, the prime minister and his wife’s parents vehemently opposed the two marrying.
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