Japan's Princess Kiko gave birth to the royal family's first male heir in four decades on Wednesday, easing a succession crisis and quelling a fractious political debate over whether to allow women on the throne.
Kiko, 39, underwent a Caesarean section at a Tokyo hospital, bearing a boy who is third in line to the throne after Crown Prince Naruhito and Kiko's husband, Prince Akishino, 40. The baby's name was to be announced next Tuesday.
The arrival of a new prince, Emperor Akihito's first grandson, defused a succession crunch in the coming generation of the royal family, which traces its roots back some 1,500 years.
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