[ 2006-09-07 09:11 ]
| Japanese Princess
Japan's Princess Kiko gave birth on Wednesday to a baby
boy - the first male heir to be born into the ancient imperial family in
more than four decades, the Imperial Household Agency said on Wednesday.
The birth of a boy, who will be third in line after his uncle and his
father, is likely to dampen debate on letting women inherit the throne .
An Imperial Household Agency official told reporters Kiko had given
birth by a Caesarean operation to the 2,558 gram boy at 8:27 a.m. (2327
Kyodo news agency quoted sources as saying both mother and baby were
No imperial boys had been born since Kiko's husband, Prince Akishino,
in 1965, raising the possibility of a succession crisis. Crown Prince
Naruhito, 46, and Crown Princess Masako, 42 have one child, 4-year-old
Japanese emperors are no longer worshipped as gods since Hirohito
renounced his divinity after Japan's defeat in World War Two, and have no
But the monarchy remains rich with symbolism and ritual and the birth
of a possible imperial heir had mesmerized the media.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi had planned to revise the law to give
women equal rights to ascend the throne, but Kiko's pregnancy had already
put the proposal on hold .
Not all Japanese, however, were likely to be equally gleeful about the
birth of a boy, which is expected to scuttle prospects for a reform that
would have allowed Aiko to become Japan's first reigning empress since the
inherit the throne :
mesmerize : to
put the proposal on hold :