Princess Kiko gives birth to imperial baby boy
Wednesday, September 6, 2006
has given birth to a 2,558 gram (5.639 lb) baby boy, on 6 September at 8 h 27 ( ). He is the first male baby born in the since his father in 1965. The baby was delivered with a , and will not be named until a ceremony seven days after his birth.
, currently on a tour of , welcomed the birth. A number of traditional rites will take place, including the baby boy being symbolically presented with a sabre.
The boy will be the third in line to succeed to theafter the and , father of the child.
The fact thatwasn't able to have a boy to succeed the throne is thought to have provoked her and subsequent withdrawal from public activity.
Pressure from thefor another child was ineffective and therefore appointed a panel to find an alternative . The panel's recommendation to allow women to inherit the throne was met with fierce criticism from conservatives.
The birth of the baby boy eases the pressure for the reform which about 70% of Japanese favoured but which was postponedwhen the news of the pregnancy came to the public.
Prince Akishino has previously criticized his elder brother for not trying to sire a boy. According to Crown Prince Naruhito this was in order to protect Crown Princess Masako. At the same time, Princess Kiko has become the darling of the media while the Crown Princess has been accused of being "selfish" by some newspapers.
- "Japan welcomes imperial baby boy" — , September 6, 2006
- Atika Shubert. "Japan's Princess Kiko has boy" — , September 6, 2006
- Brian Walsh. "Japan Celebrates: It's a Boy!" — , September 6, 2006
- Norimitsu Onishi. "Princess Kiko of Japan has a boy" — , September 5, 2006
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