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December 1, 2001: Baby girl for Japan’s royal couple

Crown Princess Masako gave birth to a baby girl her first child in eight years of marriage to Japan’s heir to the throne

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Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako with her baby girl. - Gulf News Archives
Gulf News

Crown Princess Masako gave birth to a baby girl, her first child in eight years of marriage to Japan’s heir to the throne, officials said, ruling out any swift changes to the country’s male only succession laws. “Both mother and baby are healthy,” said Hirofumi Oka, head of general affairs. The infant weighed 3.102kg and was 49.6cm long. “Both the Emperor (Akihito) and the Empress (Michiko) were informed about the birth. The Emperor said he was really happy to hear the news and thanked those who were involved in the birth,” Oka said. “The Empress was in tears. She sent her congratulations to the couple,” the official said. The baby girl is the long-awaited first child of Masako, 37, a former diplomat, after eight years of marriage to Crown Prince Naruhito, 41. She had earlier suffered one miscarriage. “I’m very pleased with the safe delivery. I offer my heartfelt thanks to all of the people who were thinking so warmly of us,” the proud father was quoted as saying by his chamberlain, Makoto Irie.

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