Photo/Illutration Prince Hisahito attends an online ceremony for the 12th children’s nonfiction literature award hosted by the city of Kita-Kyushu on March 20, 2021. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Prince Hisahito, second in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne, has been accused of plagiarism concerning an award-winning essay about his trip to the Ogasawara islands.

The Imperial Household Agency on Feb. 16 said about the essay written by the now 15-year-old prince, “Its description in a reference list was inadequate.”

A weekly magazine and others reported that some parts of the essay “bear a close resemblance to unreferenced material.”

A person related to a magazine contacted the agency about the matter on Feb. 15.

Hisahito checked the essay and concluded that its reference list was insufficient, officials said.

Hisahito will further check the essay and will notify the city of Kita-Kyushu, which gave a literary award to the prince, if additional inadequacies are found, the agency said.

The essay was Hisahito’s recollection of a trip to the Ogasawara islands south of Tokyo with his mother, Princess Kiko, when he was in the fifth year of elementary school.

For an assignment of Ochanomizu University Junior High School, which he now attends, Hisahito submitted the essay for Kita-Kyushu’s 12th children’s nonfiction literature award.

In March 2021, the essay was awarded an honorable mention, second to the grand prize, in the junior high students’ section, out of 97 entries.

According to the city government’s website, six individuals, including Hisahito, received a prize in the section.

The prince attended an awards ceremony held online.