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International royalsJapan

Knives found at Prince Hisahito’s school desk days before abdication

The police in Japan have launched an investigation after two knives were found by the school desk of Prince Hisahito – Emperor Akihito’s 12-year-old grandson. The pink-painted knives were discovered last Friday in a classroom at the junior high school the Prince attends which is affiliated with Ochanomizu University in Tokyo. All school desks have a piece of tape with the name of the student, making Prince Hisahito’s desk easily identifiable.

Police are currently looking for a man who was found via CCTV footage as he was trespassing on the school grounds. The man was dressed in blue, and he was wearing a helmet, leading police to believe that he posed as a construction worker to gain access to the building. Prince Hisahito and his classmates were in another part of the school when the man entered the building.

Prince Hisahito does have his own protection officers, but they do not accompany him inside school classrooms, according to the Imperial Household Agency. Prince Hisahito only just began at this school, and he attended the entrance ceremony on 9 April, alongside his parents, Fumihito, Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko.

During the ceremony, His Imperial Highness, dressed in his navy school uniform, made a pledge on behalf of around 110 new students saying, “We’d like to develop our individual abilities and broaden our possibilities and perspectives.”

Before the ceremony, the Prince told reporters, “From now on, I’d like to lead a fulfilling student life.”

The Prince will soon be second in line to the Japanese throne once his grandfather abdicates in favour of his uncle, Crown Prince Naruhito, on 30 April. Naruhito will ascend the throne the following day with his younger brother, Prince Akishino becoming heir to the Chrysanthemum Throne.

Japan does not allow for women to rule in their own right meaning the Japanese Imperial Family is increasingly shrinking. By May, there will only be three people in the line of succession: Prince Akishino, Prince Hisahito, and 83-year-old Masahito, Prince Hitachi – the younger brother of Emperor Akihito.