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Prince Akishino to resume role as Honorary President of 2019 Rugby World Cup

Fumihito, Prince Akishino is to resume his role as the Honorary President of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, a source told The Mainichi on Saturday.

According to the Japanese publication, the organising committee will discuss the topic tomorrow.

It comes as no surprise as members of the Japanese Imperial Family have close ties to rugby. Many members of the family have been either the president or honorary president of the Japan Rugby Football Union in the past.

The Prince is expected to attend the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup in September 2019 and the opening match between Japan and Russia on 20 September.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup is due to take place from 20 September to 2 November in Japan. This will be the first time the Rugby World Cup will be held in Asia. Twenty countries are expected to take part. The tournament was last held in 2015 in England with New Zealand emerging victorious. The 2023 Rugby World Cup will be hosted by France.

Prince Akishino, 52, is the younger son of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. He married Kiko Kawashima on 29 June 1990. Together, they have three children: Mako (b. 1991), Kako (b. 1994), and Hisahito (b. 2006).

He will become the Crown Prince of Japan on 1 May 2019 when his older brother, the current Crown Prince Naruhito becomes the Emperor of Japan after Akihito’s abdication on 30 April. Akishino’s only son, 12-year-old Prince Hisahito will follow his father in the line of succession and will one day become the Emperor of Japan. His older sisters, Princess Mako and Princess Kako, like all female members of the family, are not in the line of succession. In Japan, women are barred from ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne according to the Imperial House Law of 1947.

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