Thursday, September 6, 2012

Royal Profile: HIH Prince Hisahito of Japan

Prince Hisahito of Japan is the third child and only son of Prince and Princess Akishino He is third in line to become Emperor of Japan after his father and uncle. He was born at 8:27 am (Japan Standard Time) on 6 September 2006, by Caesarean section at Aiiku Hospital in Tokyo following complications in the pregnancy, diagnosed as partial placenta praevia, which resulted in the birth taking place two weeks early. He weighed 2.556 kg (5 lb 10 oz) at birth. His mother Princess Kiko has offered to donate the umbilical cord blood to the Japanese Cord Blood Bank Network for the general public and not for private use.

His personal name Hisahito in this case means "serene and virtuous," according to the Imperial Household Agency. An alternative translation is "virtuous, calm, everlasting." His name was chosen by his father, and the Imperial crest used to mark his belongings is koyamaki (Japanese Umbrella-pine) tree.

He was the first male child born to the Imperial House of Japan since his father in 1965. In January 2007, the then Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzō Abe, announced that he would drop an earlier proposal to alter the Imperial Household Law so as to allow females to inherit the throne. The proposal had been made on the basis of the fact that the two sons of Emperor Akihito had, at the time, no sons of their own. Given Hisahito's birth, it now seems increasingly unlikely that the laws will be changed to allow Hisahito's cousin, Princess Aiko, daughter and only child of the heir-apparent to the throne, Crown Prince Naruhito, to become a reigning Empress and thus end the Japanese succession controversy. Although Imperial chronologies include eight reigning empresses over the course of Japanese history, they are regarded as interim or "caretaker" rulers, who did not pass the throne to their own children. Their successors were most often selected from amongst males of the paternal Imperial bloodline once those males grew old enough to rule, which is why some conservative scholars argue that the women's reigns were merely temporary and that the male-only succession tradition must be maintained.

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