Princess Aiko

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Princess Aiko (official name Princess Toshi, 敬宮 愛子 born December 1, 2001) is the first child (daughter) of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako Owada of Japan.

Her birth has sparked much debate in Japan on the issue of succession for the Japanese throne. Currently, the Constitution of Japan only allows boys to succeed (male primogeniture), but there has not been a single boy born into the imperial family in almost 40 years. And because Princess Masako is 40 years old and has had a miscarriage in the past, many Japanese doubt whether she will bear any more children.

If the constitution is not amended and the Princess does not produce an heir, and the Crown Prince dies, his younger brother Prince Akishino would succeed him. But there is another catch; Prince Akishino has no sons yet either.

In case the constitution would be changed, Princess Aiko would eventually becomes Japan's first ruling empress in over 300 years. On December 1, 2004 (Aiko's 3rd birthday) government spokesman Hiroyuki Hosoda acknowledged politicians had opened the debate on the succession.

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