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Cheerful birthday boy Hisahito is Japan's newest royal star

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Japan's youngest royal, Prince Hisahito, was the centre of attention and loving every moment on his first birthday. In snaps released to mark the special day the little boy - whose birth last year prompted an outpouring of jubilation in the Asian nation - turns a beaming face to the camera, encouraged by his mother Princess Kiko.

His father Prince Akishino and older sisters, Princess Mako and Princess Kako made up the family group at the photocall, for which the toddler wore a blue romper suit.

In one image the girls are shown helping their baby brother pile up some building blocks, and the youngster, a smile of concentration on his little face, happily joins in, oblivious to the weighty destiny which may lie ahead of him as an heir to the Chrysanthemum Throne.

The family album will contain one slightly more serious picture, too - an image of the moment when Hisahito arrived at the Imperial Palace to be received by the most important figure in the royal pecking order, his grandfather, Emperor Akihito and his wife Empress Michiko.

Photo: ©
Seated on mum Kiko's lap, the happy little prince beams for the camerasPhoto: © AFPy
Photo: ©
Lapping up the attention, the toddler appeared to be enjoying his big day to the fullPhoto: © AFP

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