Prince dies after collapse on embassy squash court

Prince Takamado died Thursday night at a Tokyo hospital after collapsing during a squash lesson at the Canadian Embassy in the afternoon, the Imperial Household Agency said. He was 47.

The prince collapsed after suffering ventricular fibrillation and went into a state of cardiopulmonary arrest, the agency said. He passed away at 10:52 p.m., it added.

Prince Takamado had been put on a heart-lung machine, and his wife, Princess Hisako, and mother, Princess Yuriko, wife of Prince Mikasa, were at his bedside.

According to the embassy, the prince collapsed around 3:50 p.m. while having a private squash lesson from an instructor at a sports facility there, along with with Canadian Ambassador to Japan Robert Wright. The lesson began around 3 p.m.

Immediately after the prince’s collapse, a Canadian official phoned for an ambulance and the prince was rushed to Keio University Hospital in Shinjuku Ward, the embassy said in a statement.

The agency said the prince plays squash regularly with the ambassador.

Throughout the afternoon, the hospital withheld details regarding his condition, merely stating that he was still being treated.

Prince Takamado, the third and youngest son of Prince Mikasa, brother of the late Emperor Showa, had been conducting his official duties as scheduled until Wednesday. He is seventh in line to the throne.

Prince Takamado studied at Queen’s University in Canada from 1978 to 1981, receiving an honorary doctorate in 1991.

The prince is the honorary president of the Japan Football Association and attended the May 31 opening ceremony of the World Cup soccer finals in Seoul.

He also holds honorary posts within bodies such as the Japan Squash Association and the Japan Fencing Federation.

The Emperor and his wife, Empress Michiko, had planned to invite Crown Prince Naruhito, his wife, Princess Masako, and daughter, Princess Aiko, to dinner at the Imperial Palace, but the plans were canceled in light of the above events, the agency said.

The Canadian Embassy also canceled a business event it had organized for Thursday evening.