Thursday, December 15, 2011

Crown Prince Naruhito

Crown Prince Naruhito (born 23 February 1960) is the eldest son of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, which makes him the heir apparent to the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan.

Early life and education
Titled Prince Hiro, he was invested as the Crown Prince on 23 February 1991, following the death of his grandfather, Emperor Shōwa on 7 January 1989.

He received his bachelor's and his master's degrees in history from Gakushuin University in 1982 and 1988, respectively. From 1983 until 1985 he studied in England at Merton College, Oxford University.

Prince Naruhito plays the viola and enjoys jogging, hiking, and mountaineering in his spare time. He has written several papers and a memoir of his Oxford days, The Thames and I: A Memoir of Two Years at Oxford.

Marriage and issue
The Prince pursued and eventually proposed (reportedly twice) to the then 29-year-old Masako Owada, a diplomat in the Japanese Foreign Ministry working under her father Hisashi Owada who is currently a judge on the International Court of Justice, former vice minister for foreign affairs and former Japanese ambassador to the United Nations. The Imperial Palace announced their engagement on 19 January 1993.

On 9 June 1993, The Crown Prince of Japan and Masako Owada were married at the Imperial Shinto Hall in Tokyo before 800 invited guests and an estimated media audience of 500 million people around the world. Many of Europe's crowned heads attended. So, too, did most of Europe's elected heads of state. The couple make their home at the Tōgū Palace, on the Akasaka Estate in Minato, Tokyo.

Naruhito has one daughter from his marriage:
    * Aiko, Princess Toshi, born 1 December 2001.

Personal interests
Naruhito is interested in water policy and water conservation. In March 2003, in his capacity as honorary president of the Third World Water Forum, he delivered a speech at the forum's opening ceremony titled "Waterways Connecting Kyoto and Local Regions". Visiting Mexico in March 2006, he gave the keynote address at the opening ceremony for the Fourth World Water Forum, "Edo and Water Transport." And in December 2007, he gave a commemorative talk at the opening ceremony for the First Asia-Pacific Water Summit, "Humans and Water: From Japan to the Asia-Pacific Region."

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