Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino and their family

Photo Description
Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino
Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino talk with young participants visiting Japan for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' South Asian Youth Invitation Program.
(Photo:Imperial Household Agency)
Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino
Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino visit Hamanako Flower Expo.
(Photo: Shizuoka Prefecture)
His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino
As a panelist, His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino attends a special symposium to celebrate the opening of the Nature Experience Center, Toyama Municipal Park Zoo.
(Photo: Toyama Municipal Family Park Zoo Corporation)
Her Imperial Highness Princess Akishino
Her Imperial Highness Princess Akishino gives a speech in sign language at the 22nd Sign Language Speech Contest for High School Students.
(Photo: The Asahi Shimbun)

His Imperial Highness was conferred the title of Prince Akishino by His Majesty The Emperor upon his marriage on June 29, 1990.

Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino attend various court ceremonies including New Year's celebrations, as well as other court functions held at the Imperial Palace.

Prince and Princess Akishino attend a wide variety of official events around the country. These include the Sea Festival, the National High School Horse Riding Competition, the National Cultural Festivals for Senior High Schools, the Fukuoka Prize Award Ceremony, the National Sports Festival and the National Urban Greenery Fairs. On such occasions Their Imperial Highnesses take the opportunities to visit the regions of Japan.

As part of their official activities, at their residence, Their Imperial Highnesses meet with important visitors from Japan and overseas, as well as distinguished experts in various fields and trainee groups from overseas.

Their Imperial Highnesses have made official visits to foreign countries. Recent among these were the visit to the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania in May 2009 on the occasion of "Japan-Danube Friendship Year 2009", the visit to the Kingdom of the Netherlands in August 2009 for the commemorative event of the 400th anniversary of the trade relations between Japan and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the visit to the Republic of Costa Rica in January 2011 on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Japan and the Republic of Costa Rica, and the visit to the Republic of Uganda on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Japan and the Republic of Uganda. Also, His Imperial Highness visited Cambodia to attend the cremation ceremony of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, Preah Karuna Preah Barom Ratanak Kaudh in February 2013.

In addition to His Imperial Highness' busy official activities, Prince Akishino carries out research on the domestication of chickens from their wild progenitors. The main focus of his research is the process of domestication of chickens; namely, how chickens coexist with humans and the factors in the breeding of varieties once chickens were domesticated. In September 1996, the Graduate University for Advanced Studies conferred the degree of Ph.D. in science on His Imperial Highness for his thesis on the origins of chickens and their domestication entitled, "Molecular Phylogeny of Junglefowls, genus Gallus and Monophyletic Origin of Domestic Fowls." In addition to research based in Japan, Prince Akishino has made visits to the Republic of Indonesia in 1993 and 1994, to Yunnan Province in the People's Republic of China in 1998 with Princess Akishino, and to the Kingdom of Thailand and Lao People's Democratic Republic in 2001. Prince Akishino visited the Kingdom of Thailand again in 2005, and visited the Republic of Madagascar in 2007 and Lao People's Democratic Republic in 2010 with Princess Mako in connection with his research. He also visited Viet Nam in 2012.

His Imperial Highness has visited the Kingdom of Thailand on many occasions in the course of research on fisheries and on the domestication of chickens, and has published the results of research in a number of academic papers. His Imperial Highness has received honorary doctorates from the following universities, in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of fisheries and poultry science in Thailand: Kasetsart University (Science (Fishery Biology), September 1995); Burapha University (Science, September 1995); Khon Kaen University (Science (Fisheries), July 1999); Srinakharinwirot University (Science, August 2001); Chulalongkorn University (Science, August 2001); Ubon Ratchathani University (Science (Agriculture), August 2003); King Mongkut's University of Technology (Science (Fisheries), March 2007); Kasetsat University (Science (Animal) Science, March 2011), Chiang Mai University (Arts (Human and Environment Management), March 2011) and Thammasat University (Science, (Agricultural Technology), November 2012).

Her Imperial Highness Princess Akishino, besides performing official duties and public activities alongside His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino, assumed the role of Patroness of the Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association (JATA) in April 1994. As the Patroness, Her Imperial Highness attends various ceremonial events such as the Anti-Tuberculosis National Convention, the Central Training Seminar for branch leaders of the National Federation of Community Women's Organizations for TB Control, and meetings with specialists who participate in the international training courses on TB control. Also, Princess Akishino assumed the role of the President of the Imperial Gift Foundation Boshi-Aiiku-Kai in October 2010. Her Imperial Highness attends its annual national conventions and has been encouraging community volunteers of Aiiku-Han groups, which promote community health. Her Imperial Highness also attends the Regional Meetings and ceremonies of the Japanese Red Cross Society in her capacity as Honorary Vice-President of the organization.

Her Imperial Highness continues her studies in between performing her official activities. Her Imperial Highness has been learning sign language as an important means of communication with persons with speech and hearing impairments, and attends the "Sign Language National Speech Contest for High School Students" and "Praising Mothers Raising Children with Hearing Impairments". In March 1995, Her Imperial Highness received a Master's degree in psychology. Her Imperial Highness has a strong interest in supporting female researchers who restart researches after childbirth and child care, and attends presentations by researchers supported by "Research Fellowship for Young Scientists - Restarted Post Doctoral fellowship" of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Her lmperial Highness carries out researches in areas related to health care, and was nominated as the Honorary Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science in February 2009. In March 2013, Her Imperial Highness was granted Ph.D. in psychology at the Graduate School of Humanities and Sciences, Ochanomizu University, for her thesis titled "Knowledge, perceptions, beliefs and behaviors related to tuberculosis: A study based on questionnaire surveys with seminar participants of the National Federation of Community Women's Organizations for TB Control and female college students."

Her Imperial Highness Princess Mako reached the age of twenty and was conferred Grand Cordon of the Order of Precious Crown in October 2011. Since then, Her Imperial Highness has been attending official events as an adult member of the Imperial Family. Her Imperial Highness is an undergraduate in the Division of Arts and Science, the College of Liberal Arts, International Christian University.

Her Imperial Highness Princess Kako is an undergraduate in the Department of Education, Faculty of Letters, Gakushuin University.

His Imperial Highness Prince Hisahito is attending Ochanomizu University Elementary School.

Their Imperial Highnesses are growing up in good health.