Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Hitachi attend the Opening Ceremony of the 64th Central Japan Ski Competition for the Prince Hitachi Cup. (Photo: Chunichi Shimbun)
In addition to their official duties, Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Hitachi serve as President or Honorary President of a wide variety of organizations.
In 2013 Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Hitachi attended the National Convention for the Protection of Wild Birds during the 67th National Bird Week in May (Nara Prefecture), the 68th National Athletic Meet (Tokyo) and the 26th National Health and Welfare Festival for Senior Citizens (Kochi Prefecture) in October, and the Ceremony for the 2013 Kinki Local Commendation for Invention (Shiga Prefecture) in November. In January 2014 Their Imperial Highnesses attended the Opening Ceremony of the 64th Central Japan Ski Competition for the Prince Hitachi Cup. On these visits Their Imperial Highnesses took the opportunity to observe the situations in each of the regions.
Their Imperial Highnesses also devoted themselves to the fostering of international goodwill, through a visit in July 2011 to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (to attend events related to the Praemium Imperiale global arts prize in honor of Prince Takamatsu) and a courtesy call on Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In March 2012, Their Imperial Highness traveled to the Kingdom of Tonga to attend the state funeral of His Majesty King George Tupou V.
After graduating from the Faculty of Science of the Gakushuin University, His Imperial Highness studied biology of cell division at the Faculty of Science of the University of Tokyo. Then he became the guest researcher at the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research. In the subsequent 40 years, he published a large number of papers on carcinogenesis and cancer biology in international Journals and the works have been highly evaluated around the world.
In 1997 His Imperial Highness received an honorary doctorate from George Washington University of the United States, and in April 2001 received an honorary doctorate from the University of Minnesota. In March 1999, in view of his outstanding international contribution to cancer research, His Imperial Highness was recommended as an honorary member of the German Association for Cancer Research and became the first foreigner to be appointed to such a position in the Association.
In addition, in January 2001, His Imperial Highness was appointed the Honorary President of the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research.
Her Imperial Highness attends events of the Japanese Red Cross Society Regional Meetings in her capacity as Honorary Vice-President and events of the Japan Ikebana Arts Association in her capacity as Honorary President. In addition, Her Imperial Highness is involved in charitable events such as those of the Nippon-Latin American Ladies' Association and the Japan Animal Welfare Society. Her Imperial Highness is deeply interested in animal welfare in particular, which is a relatively unspectacular area that can sometimes be easily neglected. Her Imperial Highness has translated and published five foreign children's books and picture books about animals, including "Dot the Fire Dog," which was published in April 2005. The proceeds from these books are being donated to the cause of animal welfare.