Japan is holding a funeral for Prince Tomohito, a cousin of Emperor Akihito who died of cancer at age 66.
The funeral in Tokyo on Thursday was attended by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and about 700 others.
Tomohito, who died of cancer last week, was sixth in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne. He was known as “the bearded prince” and known for his advocacy of welfare programs for disabled people.
He was also one of the most outspoken members of the imperial family. In 2005 he set off a stir when he said Japan should exhaust all options before allowing a woman to rule. A baby boy was born to the wife of Akihitos younger son the following year, which effectively ended the succession debate.