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House Order of Successions




Emporer Akihito

The following is the current order of succession to the Japanese throne:

  1. Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan, born 1960, the current Emperor's first son

  2. Prince Akishino (Fumihito), born 1965, the current Emperor's second son

  3. Prince Hisahito of Akishino, born September 6, 2006 Prince Akishino's son

  4. Prince Hitachi (Masahito), born 1935, the current Emperor's brother

  5. Prince Mikasa (Takahito), born 1915, the current Emperor's uncle (the brother of Hirohito)

  6. Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, born 1946, Prince Mikasa's first son (the current Emperor's eldest male cousin)

  7. Prince Katsura (Yoshihito), born 1948, Prince Mikasa's second son (the current Emperor's second eldest male cousin)

Crown Prince Naruhito has a daughter (Aiko) and Prince Akishino currently has two daughters (Mako and Kako) and a son (Hisahito). The emperor's brother, Prince Hitachi, is childless. Of the three sons of Prince Mikasa: Prince Tomohito of Mikasa has two daughters (Akiko and Yōko), Prince Katsura is childless, and the late Prince Takamado had three daughters (Tsuguko, Noriko, and Ayako).

Theoretically, the imperial family may come to end after the last male heir dies, since an heir must descend from the male line. The birth of Prince Hisahito, the first boy-child in the Imperial family in 41 years, temporarily abates the looming succession crisis, although the problem could resurface if anything untoward happens to the child before he can sire a male offspring. Prince Hisahito is the only male and heir of his generation, and he could eventually become the only member of the Japanese Imperial Family.

It has been suggested that the succession laws could be changed into an equal primogeniture system, allowing the line of succession to grow significantly. The order of succession would then become:

  1. Crown Prince Naruhito, the Emperor's eldest son (b. 1960)

  2. Princess Aiko, the Crown Prince's daughter (b. 2001)

  3. Prince Akishino, the Emperor's younger son (b. 1965)

  4. Princess Mako of Akishino, Prince Akishino's eldest child (b. 1991)

  5. Princess Kako of Akishino, Prince Akishino's second child (b. 1994)

  6. Prince Hisahito of Akishino, Prince Akishino's third child (b. 2006)

  7. Prince Hitachi, the Emperor's younger brother (b. 1935)

  8. Prince Mikasa, the Emperor's uncle (b. 1915)

  9. Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, Prince Mikasa's eldest son (b. 1946)

  10. Princess Akiko, Prince Tomohito's eldest daughter (b. 1981)

  11. Princess Yōko, Prince Tomohito's younger daughter, (b. 1983)

  12. Prince Katsura, Prince Mikasa's second son (b. 1948)

  13. Princess Tsuguko, eldest daughter of the late Prince Takamado, Prince Mikasa's third son (b. 1986)

  14. Princess Noriko, Prince Takamado's second daughter (b. 1988)

  15. Princess Ayako, Prince Takamado's third daughter (b. 1990)