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Friday, 4th November 2016
In General Japan News,

Prince Mikasa laid to rest in Tokyo

The funeral of Prince Mikasa was held in Tokyo today (November 4th), just over a week after the 100-year-old died from a cardiac arrest.

Uncle to Emperor Akihito, the prince was the oldest member of the Japanese royal family ever recorded throughout history and one of five heirs to the Chrysanthemum Throne.

The ceremony was attended by prime minister Shinzo Abe, Caroline Kennedy, the US ambassador to Japan and a number of royals, as well as a selection of other mourners wishing to pay their respects.

Heir to the throne Crown Prince Naruhito was in the congregation, along with his wife, Crown Princess Masako, but Akihito and Empress Michiko were absent, as is the tradition.

At the head of the procession to Toshimagaoka cemetery was a Shinto priest dressed in white robes. He was followed by the hearse and Princess Yuriko, the deceased’s widow.

Shakuhachi flute music accompanied their journey and a reading was given at the cemetery before the chief mourners left offerings of greenery on the altar and bowed their heads.

Prince Mikasa’s body then went on to be cremated and interred at the cemetery, according to the NHK broadcaster.

In total, the cost of the funeral service and tomb for the prince is an estimated 289 million yen (£223,9050), with the government deciding to take the majority of it from the reserve funds for fiscal 2016.

The rest of the money will come from a split between the Imperial Household Agency’s budget for this year and the next fiscal year, which starts in April.

As only men are entitled to inherit the Chrysanthemum throne, the line of accession reads thus: Crown Prince Naruhito, his brother Prince Akishino, Prince Hisahito of Akishino (the current emperor’s only grandson) and Prince Hitachi (his elderly brother).