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Japan's Crown Prince urged to adopt nephew

TOKYO, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Japan's male-only succession law has prompted an expert on the Imperial family to suggest Crown Prince Naruhito formally adopt his month old nephew.

Professor Isao Tokoro of Kyoto Sangyo University says the move would allow the little prince to become heir apparent now rather than waiting 50 years, the Kyodo News Agency reports.

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Prince Hisahito, born Sept. 6, is the third child of the emperor's second son, Prince Akishino and his wife, Princess Kiko, and is third in line to the throne.

In a speech before the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan in Tokyo Thursday, Professor Tokoro wondered how Prince Hisahito can prepare for his role as emperor unless he starts at a young age.

One way to solve the problem, Tokoro suggested, is for the prince to leapfrog over his father by having his uncle adopt him.

This, he said, would promote a smoother generational transition for the Imperial family.

Crown Prince Naruhito currently has no male heir.

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