Outspoken Prince Tomohito, a cousin of Emperor Akihito, died on June 6 at a Tokyo hospital after a long battle with cancer. He was 66.
Sixth in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne, Tomohito had a lengthy bout with cancer, having undergone 16 surgeries to treat various tumors.
He was in the hospital since March for an operation, but began bleeding from his mouth and nose from June 1. He subsequently developed breathing problems due to pneumonia, and his kidney functions also deteriorated.
Tomohito was long considered an outspoken member of the imperial family. He appeared on late-night radio shows and also at one time indicated a desire to leave the imperial family.
He also admitted to having a drinking problem and once suggested the use of concubines to preserve the male imperial line.
At the same time, Tomohito was a strong advocate for greater social participation by those with various disabilities. He often held meetings for such groups at his residence and appeared at news conferences to directly respond to questions from reporters about the activities of those groups.
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