The Emperor of Japan turns 62 and calls for hope to overcome the pandemic
“The difficult situation has persisted, but I firmly believe that it is possible that we can overcome this harsh reality with patience by caring for each other, sharing each other’s pain and making efforts to support each other.” , Naruhito said during a press conference at the palace. conference held before his birthday.
His birthday wishes to the palace audience were canceled for a third year, and a ceremony at the palace was also scaled back due to the pandemic.
Naruhito said his daughter Princess Aiko, who is studying Japanese literature at Gakushuin University, took online classes due to the coronavirus. Recalling his time at university, where he constantly had “new discoveries and experiences” such as meeting people in class and sharing a table in a cafeteria with other students, Naruhito said he hopes his daughter will also be able to enjoy a post-pandemic life on campus.
Aiko is the only child of Naruhito and Empress Masako, a Harvard-educated former diplomat who has suffered from what has been described as a stress-related condition for around 20 years.
Aiko turned 20 in December and can now take part in royal duties as an adult member of the Imperial family.
Aiko is not eligible to succeed her father. According to Japanese law, she must also leave her family if she marries a commoner, like her older cousin, Mako, who married her college sweetheart and moved to New York with him.
The 1947 Imperial Household Act, which largely preserves pre-World War II family values, allows only a male line of succession and requires female members of the royal family who marry commoners to join households headed by their husbands.
A government panel in December recommended that the government maintain the male-only imperial succession system despite the dwindling number of men in the royal family.