The Gold Coast Bulletin



Prince Hisahito of Japan has been accused of plagiarisi­ng parts of a prizewinni­ng essay, in a rare embarrassm­ent for the boy who is second in line to the throne.

Japan’s Imperial Household Agency, which looks after members of the imperial family, has acknowledg­ed “inadequate” citations, after articles in weekly magazines pointed out similariti­es between parts of the essay and previously published material.

They say that Hisahito, 15, will revise its bibliograp­hy.

The essay, which was a runner-up in a literary prize awarded by the city of Kitakyushu, was about a visit made by the prince to the remote Ogasawara islands. The magazine Shukan Shincho found several sentences describing the islands that appeared to have been copied verbatim.

Hisahito is the nephew of Emperor Naruhito, 62, and Empress Masako, 58. Their only child, Princess Aiko, 20, is barred from succeeding to the throne because of her gender, which means succession passes to Naruhito’s younger brother, Crown Prince Fumihito, 56.

The imperial family had no other male heirs and Japan was close to changing the law to allow Aiko to succeed. Unexpected­ly, Fumihito’s wife, Kiko, 55, who already had two daughters, gave birth to a son, Hisahito, in 2006.

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