- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

TOKYO (AP) - A granddaughter of Japan’s Emperor Akihito is not feeling well and has missed school for a month.

Palace officials said Wednesday the 14-year-old Princess Aiko has been staying home since Sept. 26, after complaining of stomach problems and dizziness attributed to fatigue from studying for exams and practicing for an athletic event at her junior high school.

Aiko is the only child of Crown Prince Naruhito, next in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne, and his wife Masako, who has been suffering from a stress-related mental condition for more than 10 years.

Officials say Nobutake Odano, the grand master at Naruhito’s palace, told reporters Tuesday that Aiko is recovering but needs more time before returning to school. A palace hospital health check earlier this month found no major problem.

Aiko, known as the princess who rarely smiles, had occasionally missed class while in elementary school. Over the summer, she was seen waving at crowds as she accompanied his parents on hikes and at other public events.

Masako canceled a planned out-of-town official appointment this month due to fatigue and concern for having to take care of her daughter, the palace said.

A Harvard graduate and former diplomat, Masako has had stress-related conditions since soon after giving birth to Aiko, following criticism for not producing a boy.

Concerns about a shortage of male successors have been rekindled after Akihito, 82, conveyed his apparent abdication wish in August, citing his old age and health. Japan’s Imperial House Law does not allow female emperors.


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