Princess Aiko at the Science Museum in Tokyo, August 2016
|Born||1 December 2001|
Imperial Household Agency Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
|House||Imperial House of Japan|
|Father||Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan|
On 1 December 2001, the Crown Princess gave birth to a baby girl. She was the couple's first child after 8 years of marriage for the then 37-year-old crown princess and 41-year-old crown prince. Princess Aiko was born at the Imperial Household Agency Hospital in Tokyo Imperial Palace.
In a break with tradition, the name of the princess was chosen by her parents, instead of by the Emperor. It was selected from clause 56 of Li Lou II, one of the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Mencius. Aiko, the princess's personal name, is written with the kanji characters for "love (?)" and "child (?)" and means "a person who loves others". The princess also has an imperial title, Princess Toshi ( toshi-no-miya), which means "a person who respects others".
In early March 2010, Aiko began to stay home from school due to, along with other girls, being bullied by her elementary school classmates. Aiko returned to school on a limited basis on 2 May 2010. After returning to school, a senior palace official said that she would attend a limited number of classes accompanied by her mother, upon advice from a doctor at the Crown Prince's household.
She visited a special exhibition on the 150th anniversary of Japan-Italy diplomatic relations on 5 April 2016 at the Tokyo museum.
The Imperial Household Law of 1947 abolished the Japanese nobility; under provisions of this law, the imperial family was streamlined to the descendants of Emperor Taish?. The laws of succession in Japan prevent inheritance by or through the female line. If the laws were changed, Aiko would be second in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne.
The birth of Princess Aiko sparked debate in Japan about whether the Imperial Household Law of 1947 should be changed from the current system of agnatic primogeniture to absolute primogeniture, which would allow a woman, as firstborn, to inherit the Chrysanthemum Throne ahead of a younger brother or male cousin. Although Imperial chronologies include eight empresses regnant in the course of Japanese history, their successors were always selected from amongst the members of the paternal Imperial bloodline, which is why some conservative scholars argue that the women's reigns were temporary and that male-only succession tradition must be maintained in the 21st century. Though Empress Genmei was followed on the throne by her daughter, Empress Gensh?, Gensh? herself was succeeded by her brother's son, thus keeping the throne in the same agnatic line; both Gensh? and Genmei, as well as all other empresses regnant and emperors, belonged to the same patriline.
A government-appointed panel of experts submitted a report on 25 October 2005, recommending that the Imperial succession law be amended to permit absolute primogeniture. On 20 January 2006, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi used part of his annual keynote speech to address the controversy when he pledged to submit a bill to the Diet letting women ascend to the throne in order that the Imperial throne be continued into the future in a stable manner. Koizumi did not announce a timing for the legislation to be introduced nor did he provide details about the content, but he did note that it would be in line with the conclusions of the 2005 government panel.
Proposals to replace agnatic primogeniture were shelved temporarily after it was announced in February 2006 that the Crown Prince's younger brother, Fumihito, Prince Akishino and his wife Kiko, Princess Akishino were expecting their third child. On 6 September 2006, Princess Kiko gave birth to a son, Hisahito, who is third in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne under the current law, after his uncle, the Crown Prince, and his father, Prince Akishino. The prince's birth provided the first male heir to be born in the imperial family in 41 years. On 3 January 2007, Prime Minister Shinz? Abe announced that he would drop the proposal to alter the Imperial Household Law. Therefore, at this time it seems unlikely that the succession laws will be changed to allow Princess Aiko to ascend the throne.
Aiko is styled as Her Imperial Highness The Princess Toshi.
|Ancestors of Aiko, Princess Toshi|