A poll taken by a major Japanese newspaper shows overwhelming support for a change in the law to allow a woman to succeed to the throne.

The Tokyo Shimbun said Sunday that 84 percent of its poll respondents approved of the idea that an empress could rule Japan.

It said only six percent of respondents said succession should be limited to males.

Under Japanese law, only males who have emperors on their father's side can succeed to the throne.

The question of succession to the throne, now occupied by 71-year-old Emperor Akihito, is gaining urgency because no boys have been born into the Imperial household for 40 years.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.