Japan's monarchy rarely gets hostile attacks but a symbolic gesture five days before the ascension of new Emperor Naruhito has left many in surprise. Two knives were seen left on the desk of 12-year-old Prince Hisahito's school table on Friday.
Once new emperor's reign, designated Reiwa era, begins on May 1, his brother Akishino becomes the Crown Prince and his son Prince Hisahito (12) will become the second in line of succession to the chrysanthemum throne.
In less than a month after he graduated from the elementary school and joined Ochanomizu University Junior High School in Tokyo, two knives were left on his desk, sending the palace security officials scurrying for footage about trespassers into the school on Friday, April 26. It showed a man wearing a helmet and entering the school, according to Kyodo News, but no details have been provided so far.
Prince Hisahito is the only male grandson of Emperor Akihito, 85, who is abdicating his throne to his elder son Naruhito on Wednesday. Every time a new Emperor takes over, there will be ceremonies in Tokyo, which is usually resented by some people.
When the current emperor took over in 1990, $58 million was spent on the ceremony. The occasion also witnessed a hostile attack on the home of the Emperor's brother with a homemade missile, and another missile attack at the Imperial Garden in Kyoto, Japan's historic capital.
The Japanese emperor, though revered as a god during World War II, is a ceremonial head but commands utmost respect among the people. Now that the new emperor is taking over, the symbolic gesture of leaving two knives on the desk of 12-year-old Japanese Prince has left the Imperial Palace ponder for security loopholes at the Ochanomizu University Junior High School school.
Prince Hisahito is the first member of the Imperial family in the postwar period to attend and graduate from a school other than Gakushuin Primary School in Tokyo that was set up for aristocrats and imperial family members.
The knives incident may force the Imperial Palace to reconsider whether to continue Prince Hisahito in the same school or shift him to a more secure Gakushuin school.