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Celebrating first birthday as Emperor of Japan, Naruhito vows to stand by the people of Japan


As he turns 60 and celebrates his first birthday as Emperor of Japan, Naruhito has vowed to stand by the Japanese people in his first birthday address. The remarks were given during a press conference on Friday.

Emperor Naruhito said that he would stand with Japan as they respond to environmental and social challenges facing the country, “In this rapidly changing society, I am contemplating measures in our official duties that would be complementary with such societal changes.”

“I believe the imperial family bears a share of the responsibility,” he explained to the reporters.

He also spoke of the coronavirus that forced the cancellation of the public celebrations of his birthday this year, as well as expressing his sympathy to those who have been affected by disasters. Emperor Naruhito said of those impacted by disasters, “Many of the victims carry (emotional) scars that haven’t healed yet.”

The shrinking number of Imperial Family members were also a topic and the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games.

Additionally, His Imperial Majesty mentioned how his wife, Empress Masako “still has ups and downs” regarding her health. She has battled a stress-related illness for years related to the pressure connected to her royal duties, and many believe her lack of being able to provide a male heir added to the stress.

He said that his wife is “still on the path to recovery” even though she was healthy enough to attend the events surrounding his enthronement last year. The Emperor praised his Harvard and Oxford-educated consort as “a good consultant on both private and official matters.”

“Her condition has its ups and downs and her fatigue tends to be prolonged after a big event or when events take place one after another.

“I want her never to extend herself too much but continue to work on what she can do,” he said.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites.