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Crown Princess three months pregnan

Date Posted: 2001-05-18

The Japanese Imperial Household Agency announced officially Tuesday that the Crown Princess is pregnant, nearly eight years after marrying the Crown Prince. Princess Masakoís possible pregnancy has been the focus of intense speculation in nationís media since she canceled a scheduled tour to Kyoto April 4, and sis not attend a state luncheon. The agency made a statement April 16 that it was possible she was pregnant.

"The Crown Princess is three months pregnant and in good health. She is expected to give birth between late November and early December," said Kiyoshi Furukawa, grand master of the Crown Prince's household. Agency officials said medical tests conducted by doctors at the Crown Prince's Palace have confirmed the Crown Princess' pregnancy.

If the 37-year-old princess gives birth to a boy, the baby will be second in line to the Imperial Throne after the Crown Prince, 41. The Emperor and the Empress were told about the pregnancy on Monday, the Imperial Household Agency officials said.

The baby will be the third grandchild for the Emperor and Empress. Prince Akishino, the younger brother of the Crown Prince, and his wife, Princess Kiko, have two daughters: 9-year-old Princess Mako and 6-year-old Princess Kako.

Since the April 16 announcement, the Crown Princess has canceled nearly all scheduled appearances, including a visit to Okinawa.

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