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.
Other important events
1821 Dominican Republic declares independence from Spain.
1886 Sir George Everest, Welsh surveyor and geographer after whom Mount Everest is named, dies.
1887 Portugal secures the secession of Macao from China.
1913 The first US drive-in automobile service station opens in Pittsburgh.
1918 Iceland becomes a separate state under the Danish crown.
1925 Through the Locarno Treaties Belgium, Britain, Italy, Germany and France agree to a mutual peace in Europe.
1934 Sergei Kirov, a trusted aide of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, is assassinated.
1935 Chiang Kai-shek is elected president of Kuomintang, China’s ruling party.
1948 Arab conference at Jericho proclaims Abdullah of Transjordan King of Palestine.
1954 US signs security pact with Nationalist China, now Taiwan.
1962 India rejects Chinese proposals for ceasefire and negotiations over disputed border territory.
1965 An airlift of refugees from Cuba to US begins. Thousands of Cubans are allowed to leave their homeland.
1981 A chartered Yugoslav DC-9 jetliner slams into a Corsican mountain as it approaches Ajaccio Airport, killing all 174 people aboard.
1988 Benazir Bhutto is named Pakistan’s prime minister, becoming the first woman to lead a modern-day Muslim nation.
1990 Chad’s President Hissene Habre flees the country after Libyan-armed guerrillas march into the capital
1991 Ukrainians vote 9-1 in favour of independence from Soviet Union.
1997 The Armed Forces Officers Club is inaugurated in Abu Dhabi.
1999 Nobel peace laureate Jose Ramos Horta returns to East Timor after 24 years in exile.
2000 Vincente Fox is elected president of Mexico, ending the seven-decade political rule of the Institutional Revolutionary Party.
2001 Trans World Airlines ceases operations after being acquired by American Airlines.
2006 Typhoon Durian kills 1,000 people in central Philippines.
2008 One of the highest tides in its history brings Venice, Italy, to a virtual halt, flooding its historic St. Mark’s Square.
2011 Iraqi navy forces take over complete security responsibility from US Navy in Basra.
2012 Mexican outgoing President Felipe Calderon hands power to Pena Nieto after losing the election.
2013 India’s first mission to Mars leaves Earth’s orbit, successfully entering the second phase.
2014 More than 150 people, including 38 police, are killed in a Boko Haram raid on the north-east Nigerian city of Damaturu,