(born 30 November 1965) is a member of the Japanese imperial family. He is the younger son of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko and currently second in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne.
Since his marriage in June 1990, he has held the title of Akishino-no-miya (generally translated into English as Prince Akishino) and headed his own branch of the imperial family.
The prince was born on 30 November 1965 in Tokyo. His given name is Fumihito. His childhood appellation was Prince Aya . He attended the elementary and secondary departments of the Gakushuin.
In April 1984, he entered the Law Department of Gakushuin University, where he studied law and biology. After graduating from the university with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, he studied the taxonomy of fish at St John’s College, Oxford in the United Kingdom from October 1988 to June 1990.
Upon the death of his grandfather, Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito), in January 1989, he became second-in-line to the throne after his elder brother, Crown Prince Naruhito.
Prince Fumihito received a PhD degree in ornithology from the Graduate University for Advanced Studies in October 1996. His doctoral dissertation was titled, “Molecular Phylogeny of Jungle Fowls, genus Gallus and Monophyletic Origin of Domestic Fowls”. He conducted field research in Indonesia in 1993 and 1994, in Yunnan Province in the People’s Republic of China. When the current Emperor was still Crown Prince, he introduced tilapia to Thailand as an important source of protein. Tilapia can be easily cultured and Prince Fumihito, who is also known as “catfish specialist,” has managed to maintain and expand the aquacultural studies with the people of Thailand.
He is a big fan of the Beatles and an avid tennis player. As a student, Prince Fumihito ranked among the top ten in the tennis doubles players in the Kantō Region.
He is also known as a successor to Arisugawa school of calligraphy.
Prince Akishino serves as the president of the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology and the Japanese Association of Zoological Gardens and Aquariums. He is also the honorary president of the World Wide Fund for Nature Japan, the Japan Tennis Association, and the Japan-Netherlands Association. He is visiting professor of Tokyo University of Agriculture.
Prince and Princess Akishino also foster friendly relations with foreign countries by representing Japan at select international events. For example, they traveled to the Netherlands in August 2009 to commemorate 400 years of trade between the Netherlands and Japan. They were invited by the Dutch government and were hosted by Queen Beatrix in The Hague. Their public activities included meeting Japanese language students, visiting the Siebold House, a university hospital, and two other museums. At the Dutch National Archives, they attended the opening of a major exhibition of Japan-related material, “From Here to Tokyo, 400 Years of Trade with Japan”; they were accompanied by Dutch Princess Laurentien who lived and studied in Japan in her youth. In addition, this official visit also included talks with the Dutch prime minister.
In addition, Prince Akishino carried out public duties on behalf of the Emperor when he was hospitalized. He and other members of the imperial family visited the affected areas after the Great East Japan earthquake in March 2011.