The Imperial Household Agency said Monday it has reduced the number of households in the Imperial family by one, following the passing of Prince Tomohito of Mikasa a year ago.
The household led by the late prince has been integrated into the one led by his father, Prince Mikasa, 97, the late Emperor Hirohito’s brother. The step was applied retroactively from June 6 last year, the day of the prince’s demise.
As a result, the number of households in the Imperial family dropped to five, excluding those led by Emperor Akihito and Crown Prince Naruhito. The five are the households of Prince Akishino, the Emperor’s second son; Prince Hitachi, the Emperor’s younger brother; Prince Mikasa; Prince Katsura, a son of Mikasa; and the late Prince Takamado, Prince Tomohito’s younger brother.
Prince Tomohito’s household consisted of his wife, Princess Nobuko, 58, and their daughters, Princess Akiko, 31, and Princess Yoko, 29. The household was unable to choose their next family leader.
Princess Nobuko has been ill and was living separately from her husband and daughters since October 2009.
The household integration will not change the living arrangements of the three former members of the late prince’s household or the amount of living expenses they receive from state coffers, agency officials said.
Prince Tomohito’s household did not have its own name though it had been run independently. The prince chose not to take a name for his household when he became independent by marrying Nobuko in November 1980, because he expected to take over the household of Prince Mikasa as his eldest son.