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Asian RoyalsJapan

Princess Aiko vows to fulfill duties as adult in first news conference

(Screenshot/Fair Use)

Princess Aiko, the only child of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan, held her first news conference since coming of age last December.

Princess Aiko’s official ceremonies to mark her coming of age when she turned 20 were held in December last year, but the customary press conference, usually held before the birthday, was postponed to March to avoid disrupting her studies. Princess Aiko said that she “felt tense” during those ceremonies, but they did make her realize that she “needed to approach each event with a sense of responsibility.”

The news conference was held in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, and Princess Aiko offered her “heartfelt gratitude” to all those who had supported her journey up until now. She also said she would “value each and every one of my duties.”

She spoke lovingly about her parents. “(My parents’) presence is irreplaceable, and they are always there closest to me, no matter what situation I’m in,” she said. In reference to a news conference shortly after her birth, in which then Crown Princess Masako thanked her daughter for being born, Princess Aiko said, “I also want to thank (my mother) for giving birth to me.”

Princess Aiko added that her weaknesses were her shyness and being a little too laid back but added that one of her strengths was being able to sleep anywhere. She also said that she had not thought about marriage as it would still be some way off. Still, she said she believed that her ideal relationship would be one “where both parties can make each other smile by being together.”

She said of the Ukraine crisis, “I am very heartbroken that many precious lives have been lost.”

Princess Aiko is currently studying Japanese literature at Gakushuin University in Tokyo.