Princess Aiko, Japan's Disinherited Imperial Princess, Turns 22. Happy Birthday!

Princess Aiko of Japan turns 22

Princess Aiko of Japan, also known as the Princess Toshi, turns 22 on December 1, 2023. She is the only child of Emperor Naruhito of Japan and Empress Masako, but due to Japan's archaic law of succession, recognizing only male successors, Princess Aiko is not eligible to succeed her father.

However, early this year, Japan's prime minister, Fumio Kishida, made a surprise announcement of reopening the discussion of changing the archaic succession law of Japan, which has been stalled many times.

Princess Aiko of Japan turns 22
Princess Aiko turns 22. Happy birthday! Photo credit: Imperial Household Agency

He said that the issue must be tackled as soon as possible and cannot be postponed as it concerns the future of the Japanese Imperial Family and the line of succession.

Currently, Emperor Naruhito has only three male heirs - his younger brother, Crown Prince Fumihito, his nephew, Prince Hisahito, and his uncle, the childless 87-year-old Prince Hitachi.

Meanwhile, Princess Aiko is in her last year in the university, at the Gakushuin University's Faculty of Letters. According to Japan's Imperial Household Agency, the princess is spending her free hours working on her thesis. 

Princess Aiko of Japan turns 22
Princess Aiko of Japan. Photo credit: Imperial Household Agency

Since she turned 20 in December 2021, Princess Aiko has been taking official royal duties, however, much of the royal workload still goes to her paternal uncle, Prince Fumihito, who is her father's heir-presumptive. 
Princess Aiko of Japan turns 22

Most of the Japanese citizens are open to the possibility of a female empress. So it remains to be seen if the Japanese Parliament will finally scrap the century-old agnatic law of succession, which is biased toward females as it does not recognize the value and capability of women to govern or rule. 

Happy birthday Princess Aiko!\

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