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Empress Masako praised by Harvard expert

江戸村のとくぞう/CC/Wikimedia Commons

Empress Masako of Japan has been praised by an expert and emeritus professor of her alma mater, Harvard University in Boston.

Ezra Vogel, who is a personal friend of Masako’s family and an expert on Japan and China in the US, said the Empress will be vital for Japan and Japanese relations.

“She’ll be able to do it effortlessly,” Vogel cited in a recent interview discussing the Empress’s vast language skills and history as a diplomat in regards to the benefit of Japan. Masako speaks Japanese, English, German, Russian, and French fluently.

“It is, however, important that as Japan’s representatives they can communicate their people’s feelings to the world and give a good impression,” he added later.

Even while a student, she was said to be thinking about how to help relations between the US and Japan prosper, “She was constantly thinking about how to improve relations between the United States and Japan. She had a very strong sense of responsibility.”

Vogel also spoke of knowing Masako when she was younger explaining, “She was a very quiet and serious girl, very different from the usual talkative American high school students.”

Masako graduated magna cum laude in economics from Harvard. She had moved to Boston with her family in her final year of high school, settling in the suburbs of Boston. Her father, Hisashi Owada was a senior diplomat who only retired from being a judge at the International Court of Justice in 2018.

Masako became Empress consort on 1 May this year when her husband, Naruhito ascended the throne after the abdication of his father the previous day. Today, Emperor Naruhito will declare his enthronement to the world in an Enthronement Ceremony in front of foreign dignitaries, royals, and representatives from all over Japan.

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.