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  HOME | Society (Click here for more)

Japanís Prince Hisahito Turns 10 amid Debate to Amend Royal Law

TOKYO Ė Amid a growing debate on the need to reform and modernize the law governing the Japanese imperial household, Prince Hisahito, third in line to Japanís Chrysanthemum throne, turned 10 years old on Tuesday.

The prince, son of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, is currently in his fourth year at an elementary school affiliated to the Ochanomizu University in Tokyo.

He enjoys studying the history of districts of the Japanese capital and presenting his conclusions in class, according to the Imperial Household Agency.

Hisahito also likes to ski and walk around in the countryside, apart from tending to a paddy field along with his two elder sisters, Princess Kako and Princess Mako.

Last month, the princeís grandfather, Emperor Akihito, 82, made a rare televised appearance in which he expressed his desire to abdicate due to advanced age and failing health.

However, Japanís Imperial Household Law, which was enacted in 1947, does not allow an emperor to abdicate while still alive, nor does it allow women access to the Chrysanthemum Throne.

Hisahitoís birth in 2006 as the first male heir born to the Japanese imperial family in 41 years had stalled a debate to amend the Japanese Imperial Law to pave the way for Hisahitoís cousin, Princess Aiko, daughter of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako, to ascend the throne.

Many in Japan also feel a pressing need to amend the section of the law under which princesses lose their royal status if they marry outside the imperial family.

If, for e.g., Hisahitoís sisters and cousins choose to marry outside the Imperial family, it will leave the prince as the only young representative of the monarchy.

 

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