July 18, 2006

Japan’s Princess Kiko needs Caesarean: Kyodo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Emperor Akihito's younger son's
wife, who is pregnant with a possible heir to the throne, needs
a Caesarean operation and the baby, due in late September, may
be born early, Kyodo news agency said on Tuesday, quoting a
palace doctor.

Kyodo said earlier that Princess Kiko, 39, had symptoms of
placenta previa, a complication in which the placenta becomes
implanted at a location lower than normal in the uterus.

No male has been born into Japan's imperial family since
1965, and the possibility that Kiko might bear a son halted
plans to revise a 1947 imperial succession law to give equal
women equal rights to inherit the throne. That would have
cleared the way for Princess Aiko, the daughter of Crown Prince
Naruhito, to become Japan's first reigning empress since the
18th century.