Oldest member of Japan imperial family dies at age 100

Prince Mikasa, the oldest member of Japan’s imperial family and uncle of Emperor Akihito, died at a Tokyo hospital Thursday at the age of 100.

Prince Mikasa was the youngest brother of Emperor Hirohito, whose 62-year reign lasted during World War II until his death in January 1989.

Kyodo news agency reported Thursday that Prince Mikasa, who was fifth in line to the Chrysanthemum throne, died of cardiac arrest at the hospital where he has been staying since suffering acute pneumonia in mid-May.

He had been a scholar of ancient Oriental history who served as honorary president of the Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan as well as the Japan-Turkey Society.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offered his condolences through a statement read out by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga at a press conference.

“[Prince Mikasa] supported his elder brother [Emperor Hirohito] as well as the current emperor, contributing to the peace of the country and the welfare of its people,” the statement was quoted as saying by Kyodo.

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