It's a Boy!
Princess Kiko, wife of the Emperor's younger son, has had a boy. This, at least for the moment, ends the imperial succession crisis. No child eligible to ascend the throne had been born since 1965; now there is one.
The New York Times says "[t]he birth may also end the psychological drama surrounding the royal family," but in my opinion, it just makes the intrigue worse. If the child had been (another) girl, everyone would have been forced to face the idea of a woman emperor; there was no other choice. Instead, with a boy, there is the potential for the argument to continue, with some supporting the crown prince's daughter, Princess Aiko, and others arguing for the new boy (third child of the emperor's second son; he has two older sisters).
I don't have any particular insight into the royal family's internal loves, likes, and frictions, but I wonder what is going through the heads of the emperor, his sons, and their wives.
At any rate, congratulations to Princess Kiko and Prince Akishino on the birth of a healthy baby boy!
(I've blogged about this before, here and here.)