The Japanese government will consider how to ensure the stability of Imperial succession once the series of ceremonies to mark Emperor Naruhito's accession this autumn has been completed.
The government plans to hear from experts individually rather than set up a panel. It wants to create a non-confrontational environment in which it can consider all opinions.
Currently, successors to the throne must be male and from the male line of the Imperial lineage. With the accession of Emperor Naruhito, there are now only three eligible heirs.
The shrinking size of the Imperial family is also a concern. Female members have to leave the family if they marry commoners.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on Monday reiterated the government's cautious and careful stance on expanding the qualifications for succession.
Some people say women or their descendants should be allowed to take the throne. Some also want female members of the Imperial family to be allowed to remain in the family even if they marry a commoner.