January 15, 2016
Board of the Crown Prince’s Household
Imperial Household Agency
The Board of the Crown Prince’s Household of the Imperial Household Agency conveyed the following message and made a strong protest to the editorial department of the weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun with regard to the article titled “Empress Michiko ‘Summons’ and Scolds Crown Princess Masako on the Evening of December 23, the Emperor’s Birthday!”
The article alleges that, following the celebratory dinner held on the evening of December 23, 2015, His Majesty the Emperor’s birthday, Her Majesty Empress Michiko and Her Imperial Highness Crown Princess Masako moved to a separate room and had a private conversation. Quoting the words of a supposed Imperial Household staff, it goes on to give a detailed description of the interchange that supposedly took place.
According to Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, everyone had dinner together that evening, followed by conversation in the living room with everyone present, after which Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Princess, Prince and Princess Akishino, and Mr. and Mrs. Kuroda departed one after another.
There is no basis in fact to the claim that Her Majesty the Empress and Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess moved to another room for a private talk following the celebratory dinner. The conversation described in the article between Her Majesty and Her Imperial Highness did not take place and, as such, it is a complete fabrication.
It is highly regrettable that readers, as well as the general public, have been misled by the magazine’s act of constructing an article around baseless content as if these events actually happened and publishing it with sensational headlines. We have lodged a strong protest with the editorial department of the Shukan Bunshun and demanded an immediate retraction of the article.
Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Princess are sincerely grateful to Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress for Their thoughtfulness and for always warmly watching over them and find it deplorable that insensitive stories such as this continue to be printed.