The future of the Japanese throne has been secured. After months of suspense, Emperor Akihito can breathe easy. His daughter-in-law Princess Kiko has given birth to a baby boy putting an end to a succession crisis for the oldest monarchy in the world. The young prince is the first male heir to be born into the ancient imperial family for more than forty years. With no name yet given, he stands third in line to the throne behind his uncle and father. His birth was by Caesarean section at 8:27am on Wednesday and he weighed in at around 2.5 kilos.
The birth takes pressure off Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife Masako to deliver an heir. The Japanese government had planned to modify its constitution so women could ascend the throne. Had that happened their only daughter, 4 year old Aiko, would have become the first empress of Japan.