The new heir of Japan's imperial family was named Prince Hisahito on the seventh day after his birth, Japan's Imperial Household Agency said Tuesday.
The name was bestowed in a naming ceremony held at Tokyo's Aiiku Hospital on Tuesday afternoon. He was also given "the umbrella pine" as his symbol. The baby is the son of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko and also the first heir born to the imperial family in more than 40 years.
The name "Hisahito" is comprised of two Kanjis, or Chinese characters. "Hisa" means being far and long, and being at ease, while "hito" is a character that the names of princes customarily use for ending a name, which means virtuous person.
The parents have chosen the name in the hope that the prince will live long at ease, while the umbrella pine, the coniferous evergreen tree native to Japan, has been selected for his symbol in the hope that he will grow straight and tall, the agency said. The symbol will be used to mark the baby's belongings.
Prince Hisahito, grandson of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, stands third in line to the throne after 46-year-old Crown Prince Naruhito, the emperor's eldest son, and Prince Akishino, 40.
The boy was born by Caesarean section at a civil hospital in Tokyo on Sept. 6. His birth will probably weaken the debates over revising the current Imperial Household Law to pave the way for female monarch.
Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife Crown Princess Masako have only one child, Princess Aiko, who can not ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne under the current Imperial Household Law which allows only male heirs who have emperors on their father's side to reign.
Besides the new baby, Princess Kiko has with Prince Akishino two daughters, 14-year-old Princess Mako and 11-year-old Princess Kako.