Emperor and Empress meet new grandson

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko met with their newborn grandson for the first time at Tokyo’s Aiiku Hospital on Sunday, a day after they returned from their trip to Hokkaido, the Imperial Household Agency said.

The Imperial Couple gave warm words to Princess Kiko, their second son’s wife, who gave birth to the little prince on Wednesday and remains hospitalized, it said. Empress Michiko gave the prince a pair of white baby shoes and flowers.

The baby boy is the first male heir born to the world’s oldest hereditary monarchy in nearly 41 years and stands third in line to the throne after Crown Prince Naruhito and Prince Akishino, the baby’s father.

Asked how the baby was doing, Emperor Akihito told reporters before he left the hospital, “He’s doing fine. Thank you.”

The newborn baby is healthy and having no problems breast-feeding, according to an informed source, who added Prince Akishino visits the hospital almost daily with his two daughters — Princess Mako and Princess Kako.

Earlier in the day, Prince Akishino visited the Emperor and Empress at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo to report in person on his son’s birth. The prince’s two daughters later joined him and the Imperial Couple for lunch, according to the agency.

The Imperial Couple, who were visiting Hokkaido on official duty last week, learned of the birth of their fourth grandchild via a phone call from Prince Akishino at a hotel in Sapporo shortly after Princess Kiko gave birth at the hospital, the agency said earlier.

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