Press Conference by Her Imperial Highness Crown Princess Akishino on the Occasion of Her Birthday(Written Answers)(2019)

Written Answers by Her Imperial Highnesses Crown Princess Akishino in Response to the Questions from the Japanese Media on the Occasion of Her Birthday

September 11, 2019

Question 1:
Along with the Imperial Succession, Your Imperial Highness has become the Crown Princess. Your daily schedule has become even busier than before, with the first visit to foreign countries and visits within Japan as the Crown Princess, and we would like to ask your thoughts on the past and your aspirations for the future, and on the life of His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino, who has become the Crown Prince.
Answer 1:
Four months have passed since the Imperial Succession, and I have been looking back on the era of Heisei with deep gratitude for the consideration of Their Majesties the Emperor Emeritus and the Empress Emerita, who have been leading us for such a long time. Also, when I have participated in various public activities both in Japan and elsewhere, and in my daily life, I have received strength from those I have met on various occasions, such as activities for healthy life in regional communities, work to connect children with books, and projects in schools and camps. The fact that I have been supported and encouraged by so many people gives me feelings of happiness and gratitude.

The National Assembly of Greenery, the Inter High School Athletic Meeting, and several other events at our residence are among the new events which I have attended with His Highness since May, and the National Blood Donation Promotion Campaign was an event which I attended by myself. Also, we paid an official visit to Poland and Finland from late June to early July. I was grateful to attend these events, which taught me many things, providing precious opportunities to encounter people I had not met before.

His Highness has been working on each of his duties with great care, as he also did before he became the Crown Prince. Since his duties have increased even more than before, I would like to continue to watch over his health.

For my part, I would like to do my best to support Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress together with His Highness, feeling responsible about my new position and also being careful of my health.
Question 2:
Please share with us how your three children are doing. In April this year, there was an incident involving an intruder at Ochanomizu University Junior High School. Please let us know about the school and home life and the future course of HIH Prince Hisahito, who has become second in the line of succession to the Japanese throne, together with episodes from his first foreign trip, to Bhutan.
Answer 2:
I feel that each of my three children has been expanding their activities.

My eldest daughter, Mako, took over attending the National Urban Greenery Festival from us, and visited Nagano prefecture in May. She seems to have been impressed by the natural beauty, sericulture and art in the area. In July, she paid an official visit to Peru and Bolivia. I think she had a valuable experience including touching upon the history and culture of South America, and learning about the communities of Japanese descendants. She continues to take part in the work of the Japan Kōgei Association, and I understand that she will attend other events, such as one by the Japan Tennis Association.

My second daughter, Kako, graduated from university this year, and attended the Sankei Children’s Book Award Ceremony, which I have attended for a long time. She continues to work on official duties such as attending the All-Japan High School Equestrian Competition. She will visit Austria and Hungary starting next week. It will be her first official visit to foreign countries, and I feel that she has been working hard to prepare by reading books and listening to experts. I hope that she will carry out her duties well.

My son, Hisahito, graduated from elementary school in March this year, and entered junior high school in April. Along with working on various activities and assignments in junior high school, he grows rice and vegetables and examines dragonflies. For example, when growing vegetables, he carries out additional measures to increase the harvest by actions such as adding fertilizer, weeding, and pollination.

In Bhutan, the Royal Family, starting with Their Majesties the King and Queen, and Their Majesties the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and the Queen Mothers, kindly extended us a very warm welcome. In each destination, I felt that my son cherished his encounters with people, listening to explanations in museums, temples, an archery ground and a school. He was trying hard to understand the explanations in English. He also touched upon stock raising in Jela, which has an altitude of 3,500 meters, and agriculture in Punakha, the old capital, which has an altitude of 1,300 meters, and felt the nature and culture of Bhutan with his whole body.

I think that he will consider his future path through various experiences, and his widening interests.
Question 3:
As for the postponement of the marriage between Her Imperial Highness Princess Mako and Mr Kei Komuro, please share with us your perception of the feeling of HIH Princess Mako and your thoughts on the desirable path from now on, along with the present situation. Are you giving her any advice, or holding any discussions, about the marriage? What is the situation as regards the marriage and future of HIH Princess Kako?
Answer 3:
At present, I think that Mako has various feelings, including those relating to the postponement. In such circumstances, I would like to refrain from commenting on her present and future situation, including guessing her feelings. As for the future of my second daughter, I expect that she herself will consider it deeply and take steps accordingly. I hope that both of my daughters will live good lives, and build their futures in such a way that will make those who have watching over them share their happiness.