First official visit abroad for Princess Kako of Japan

Kounosu1/CC/Wikimedia Commons

The Imperial Household Agency has announced this week that Her Imperial Highness Princess Kako of Akishino is set to pay her first official visit abroad in September. The Princess will be travelling to Austria and Hungary to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the institution of diplomatic relations between Japan and these two nations.

Princess Kako will be hosted for audiences by both President Alexander Van der Bellen of Austria and President János Áder of Hungary during her visits to their respective countries. Kako’s parents paid official visits to both nations in 2009.

Her Imperial Highness first started taking part in the official engagements of the Japanese Imperial Family when she became of age on her 20th birthday in December 2014. Kako’s first official visit abroad follows her graduation from the International Christian University, in Tokyo, this past March.

HIH Princess Kako of Akishino, born on 29 December 1994, is the second daughter of Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko of Japan. Her father became the Crown Prince of Japan earlier this month when her grandfather, now Emperor Emeritus Akihito, abdicated in favour of his eldest son, now Emperor Naruhito.

Princess Kako’s father only became the Crown Prince because the current Emperor, Naruhito, can’t be succeeded by his only child, Princess Aiko. Female Imperial Family members are barred from succeeding to the Imperial Throne according to the Imperial Household Act of 1947.

The Princess has an elder sister, HIH Princess Mako of Akishino, born in 1991. Princess Mako has been very active as a member of the Imperial Family since becoming of age in 2011. She has represented Japan several times abroad, undertaking engagements in countries such as El Salvador, Honduras, Paraguay, Buthan, Hungary and Brazil.

Crown Prince Akishino is followed in the line of succession by his 12-year-old son, Prince Hisahito. Recently, a police investigation was launched, which led to a man being arrested, after knives were found at Prince Hisahito’s desk at his school. Fortunately, the Prince wasn’t at the school on that day.