|Crown Prince of Japan|
The Crown Prince in 2014
30 November 1965
Imperial Household Agency Hospital, Tokyo Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan
|House||Imperial House of Japan|
Fumihito, Prince Akishino, Crown Prince of Japan (?, Akishino-no-miya Fumihito Shinn?, born 30 November 1965, Japanese: [mi?çi?to]) is a member of the Japanese imperial family. He is the younger brother of Emperor Naruhito and the younger son of Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko. He is the heir presumptive to the Chrysanthemum Throne. Since his marriage in June 1990, he has had the title Prince Akishino (, Akishino-no-miya) and has headed his own branch of the imperial family. In November 2020, Fumihito was officially declared heir to the throne, during the Rikk?shi-Senmei-no-gi ceremony in Tokyo.
The prince was born on 30 November 1965 in the morning at 12:22 am in the Imperial Household Agency Hospital, Tokyo Imperial Palace in Tokyo. His given name is Fumihito. His mother, Empress Emerita Michiko, is a convert to Shinto from Roman Catholicism. His childhood appellation was Prince Aya ( Aya-no-miya). He attended the primary and secondary schools of the Gakush?in. He played tennis in primary and secondary schools of the Gakush?in.
In April 1984, he entered the Law Department of Gakushuin University, where he studied law and biological science. After graduating from the university with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science, he studied the taxonomy of fish at St John's College, Oxford in the United Kingdom from October 1988 to June 1990.
Prince Fumihito received a PhD degree in ornithology from the Graduate University for Advanced Studies in October 1996. His doctoral dissertation was titled, "Molecular Phylogeny of Jungle Fowls, genus Gallus and Monophyletic Origin of Domestic Fowls". He conducted field research in Indonesia in 1993 and 1994, and in Yunnan Province in the People's Republic of China. When the Emperor Emeritus was then Crown Prince, he introduced tilapia to Thailand as an important source of protein. Tilapia can be easily cultured and Prince Fumihito, who is also known as "catfish specialist," has managed to maintain and expand the aquacultural studies with the people of Thailand.
Prior to Fumihito's birth, the announcement about the then-Crown Prince Akihito's engagement and marriage to the then-Ms. Michiko Sh?da had drawn opposition from traditionalist groups, because Sh?da came from a Roman Catholic family. Although Sh?da was never baptized, she was educated in Catholic schools and seemed to share the faith of her parents. Rumors also speculated that Empress K?jun had opposed the engagement. After the death of Fumihito's paternal grandmother Empress K?jun in 2000, Reuters reported that she was one of the strongest opponents of her son's marriage, and that in the 1960s, she had driven her daughter-in-law and grandchildren to depression by persistently accusing her of not being suitable for her son.
The couple met when they were both undergraduates at Gakushuin University. Like his father, the present Emperor Emeritus, the Prince married outside the former aristocracy and former collateral branches of the imperial family. Upon marriage, he received the title Prince Akishino (Akishino-no-miya - strictly "Prince Akishino") and authorization from the Imperial Household Economy Council to form a new branch of the Imperial Family. The marriage was bitterly resented by officials at the Imperial Household Agency, as well as Prince Akishino's paternal-grandmother Empress Dowager Nagako.
Prince and Princess Akishino have two daughters and one son:
Prince Akishino serves as the president of the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology and the Japanese Association of Zoological Gardens and Aquariums. He is also the honorary president of the World Wide Fund for Nature Japan, the Japan Tennis Association, and the Japan-Netherlands Association.
The Prince and Princess have made numerous official visits to foreign countries. In June 2002, they became the first members of the Imperial Family to visit Mongolia, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations. In October 2002, they visited the Netherlands to attend the funeral of Prince Claus of the Netherlands. In September 2003, the Prince and Princess made goodwill visits to Fiji, Tonga and Samoa, again, the first time ever members of the Imperial Family had visited these countries. In March 2004, the Prince and Princess returned to the Netherlands for the funeral of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. In January 2005, they visited Luxembourg to attend the funeral of Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte. From October to November 2006, they visited Paraguay to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Japanese emigration to that country. In January 2008, they visited Indonesia for a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Republic of Indonesia.
They visited Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania in May 2009 on the occasion of "Japan-Danube Friendship Year 2009" and the Netherlands in August 2009 for the commemorative event of the 400th anniversary of the trade relations between Japan and the Netherlands. They have also visited Costa Rica,Uganda,Croatia, the Slovak Republic,Slovenia,Peru, and Argentina.
In addition, Prince Akishino carried out public duties on behalf of the Emperor when he was hospitalized. He and other members of the imperial family visited the affected areas after the Great East Japan earthquake in March 2011. From June to July 2014, Prince Fumihito and Princess Kiko visited Republic of Zambia and United Republic of Tanzania.
In accordance with legislation passed allowing his father's abdication, he became heir presumptive to the throne on 30 April 2019. In June-July 2019, the Crown Prince and his wife carried out the first official overseas visit by the imperial family following the accession of Emperor Naruhito. They visited Poland and Finland to participate in the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relationship between Japan and the two countries. In August 2019, the couple and their son, Hisahito, arrived to Bhutan for a visit.
The public proclamation of Prince Akishino as crown prince did not take place on 19 April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His accession as crown prince took place privately. On November 8, 2020, Crown Prince Akishino was formally declared first in line to the chrysanthemum throne. During the ceremony he said "I will carry out my duties by deeply acknowledging my responsibilities as crown prince".
He is also known as a successor to the Arisugawa school of calligraphy.