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Japanese Princess Kiko Gives Birth to Boy, Ending Succession Crisis

Japan's Princess Kiko has given birth to a boy, the first male heir to be born into the Imperial family in more than 40 years.

The palace announced that Princess Kiko gave birth in a Tokyo hospital Wednesday by Caesarean section.

The child will be third in line to the throne after Crown Prince Naruhito and Kiko's husband, Prince Akishino.

Until now, no boys had been born since Prince Akishino in 1965, creating a long-running succession crisis.

The government had planned to revise the law to give women the right to ascend the throne, but the proposal was shelved when Kiko announced her pregnancy earlier this year.

The gender of the baby was not announced until today, causing months of speculation in Japan.

Traditionalists had been hoping the baby would be a boy, but many Japanese say they would have liked to see a girl so that the laws on ascension could change.

The baby is Princess Kiko's third child - the other two are daughters. The emperor's first son, Prince Naruhito and his wife, Princess Masako, have one daughter.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.