Opinion of the Doctors to the Imperial Household on the Occasion of the Birthday of Her Majesty the Empress

December 9,2019

Her Majesty the Empress is continuing with treatment, based on the fundamental opinions that have to date been explained by the doctors to the Crown Prince’s Household.

Given the special nature of this year, including the abdication of His Majesty the Emperor Emeritus and the accession to the Throne of His Majesty the Emperor, Her Majesty the Empress attended all ceremonies relating to the accession to the Throne, starting with the Sokuirei-Seiden-no-gi (Ceremony of the Enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor) and the Daijosai (Great Thanksgiving Ceremony), and also including the Jingu-ni-Shin’etsu-no-gi (Rite of Worship at the Jingu), in addition to which Their Majesties made four visits around Japan, starting with a visit to Aichi in June and visits to Akita, Niigata and Ibaraki in September. Furthermore, as well as attending court functions to welcome overseas guests, including the President and First Lady of the United States of America, and the President of the French Republic and his spouse, Her Majesty also attended many other events, including the national meeting of the Japanese Red Cross Society. All of these various duties and attendances were accomplished in large part due to the efforts of Her Majesty, who took various measures to ensure that she looked after her health.

In addition, as mother to Her Imperial Highness Princess Aiko, who is enjoying a fulfilling student life at Gakushuin Girl's Senior High School, Her Majesty is warmly watching over and supporting Her Imperial Highness’s activities.

Steadily increasing such activities in this way gives Her Majesty greater confidence, and seeing that these further expands the scope of Her Majesty’s activities, we also believe such activities to be desirable. Furthermore, we also note that on the occasion of these activities, such as the Shukuga-Onretsu-no-gi (Imperial Procession by motorcar after the Ceremony of the Enthronement) and visits to regional Japan, the warm voices and reactions of the people who come into direct contact with Her Majesty give her encouragement.

However, as has repeatedly been explained by the doctors to the Crown Prince’s Household, Her Majesty’s recovery is still only partial and she remains subject to ups and downs. It is for this reason that after major events, or after consecutive events, fatigue may remain for some time. This year Her Majesty has engaged in her duties with a particularly strong sense of responsibility, centering around the various ceremonies pertaining to His Majesty’s accession to the Throne, but it should be understood that any excessive expectations arising from these efforts could be counterproductive to Her Majesty’s future recovery. As has been explained previously on this point, we believe it to be important for Her Majesty to expand the scope of her private activities too.

It is important for Her Majesty to continue her treatment while receiving the understanding and support of those around her, and we ask that you continue to watch over her recovery with warmth and affection.