• Kyodo

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Prince Hisahito, the nephew of Emperor Naruhito and second in line to the imperial throne, turned 14 on Sunday, while he recently developed an interest in learning about social issues including the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The son of Crown Prince Akishino is currently a second-year student at Ochanomizu University Junior High School. He is the only heir of his generation as the Imperial House Law states that only males with male lineal descent from emperors can ascend the chrysanthemum throne.

The young prince took online classes after his Tokyo school temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic from late February but returned to the school in late June, according to the Imperial Household Agency.

He also received online lectures from experts on the global health crisis with his family, the agency said. The lectures covered a wide range of topics, including the function of the immune system and the pandemic’s impact on culture and art.

Prince Hisahito became second in line to the throne when Emperor Naruhito ascended it in May last year following the abdication of Emperor Emeritus Akihito.

Females, including his elder sisters Princess Mako and Princess Kako and the emperor’s 18-year-old daughter Princess Aiko are banned from succeeding the throne. They must leave the imperial family if they get marry a commoner.

With his family and officials of the Imperial Household Agency, Prince Hisahito made medical gowns by hand out of plastic bags that were donated for use by health care workers.

During his summer vacation in August, which was shortened to about two weeks, he learned photography techniques from his father while walking around the Akasaka Estate, where they reside. The prince is interested in observing dragonflies, according to the agency.

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