Japan’s Prince Mikasa, world’s oldest royal, dead at 100

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Japanese Prince Mikasa, who was the oldest living royal in the world and the uncle of Emperor Akihito, has died, the Imperial Household announced on Thursday. Mikasa, who was also known as Takahito, was 100 years old.

Mikasa passed away at 8:34 a.m. local time while being treated at a St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo, but details about the cause of death were not immediately available. He had been hospitalized several times this year, including in May to be treated for pneumonia.

Sources told Japanese broadcaster NHK that Prince Mikasa had been suffering from a series of health issues, including heart problems and several bouts of pneumonia. He had a pacemaker implanted in late June but his condition took a turn for the worse on Thursday.

Prince Mikasa last appeared in public on January 2 of this year, when the royal family appeared on the balcony of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo to wave to well-wishers who gathered there as part of New Year’s celebrations.

Born in December 1915, Prince Mikasa was the oldest living royal in the world and the last surviving child of Emperor Taishō and Empress Teimei, whose reign lasted from 1912 through 1926. He was the uncle of the current emperor, Akihito.

Prince Mikasa was fifth in the line of succession to the Japanese throne. He is survived by his wife, 93-year-old Princess Mikasa, as well as two of their children. The couple also had three other children who died over the past 14 years.

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