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  #181  
Old 01-02-2019, 03:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ista View Post
After reading Fumihito's comments about his daughter's suspended engagement, I can't help feeling even more sorry for her. The lack of empathy in his remark that he hadn't spoken to her about her feelings (broadly paraphrasing) was striking, and horrifying to me. I feel as though his attitude towards the aborted engagement, plus his open criticism of the Daijosai is giving an unsettling picture of the kind of person he is, and how he sees his role and status. It makes me feel a bit apprehensive about his becoming Emperor if he happens to outlive Naruhito.
I read him also say he was worried about his daughter and that if in a few years time they still want to marry. Maybe he would have been better of saying private matter but wasn't it already a scandal.

In this circumstance I think considering the royal family seemed welcoming until the financial issues, this really may have to do with the financial issues.

I don't think it's ridiculous to say the financial issues should be in line first.....

Mako may be in love and not care about the finances, but they do matter. She is use to the life of a princess. It's reasonable to want him to be more established in a career.
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  #182  
Old 01-19-2019, 01:12 PM
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On January 17th, Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko attended the 59th Traffic Safety Convention at Bunkyo Civic Hall.

Blurry screenshot from nettv.gov-online.go.jp video
Click image for larger version

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On January 19th, Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko attended the Top League Cup final between Suntory Sungoliath and Toyota Velbritz at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium in Tokyo.

The prince is honorary president of the 2019 Rugby World Cup held in Japan from September 20 - November 2.

AP Images

https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...1190034-p1.jpg
https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...1190034-p2.jpg
https://www.asahicom.jp/articles/ima...01803_comm.jpg
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  #183  
Old 01-22-2019, 06:31 AM
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Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko made a visit to Akatsuka Junior High School in Niigata today, January 22:


** ap gallery ** gettyimages gallery - day 1 **
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  #184  
Old 01-23-2019, 03:36 AM
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They also visited Sakata Waterfowl - Wetland Center on the 22nd.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DxlDUeaX4AEqNVb.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DxlDWFKW0AA3msR.jpg

On the 23rd, Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko attended the 150th anniversary of the opening of Niigata Port.

AP Images

https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...1230025-p1.jpg
https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...1230025-p2.jpg
FNN: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DxlDpRxWsAMxVlz.jpg

ANN video of Day 1:

Day 2:
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  #185  
Old 01-24-2019, 04:11 AM
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Today, January 24, Princess Kiko visited the 18th International Great Quilt Festival 2019 at Tokyo Dome and met with the winner of the quilt competition:


** Pic ** ap gallery **
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  #186  
Old 02-01-2019, 01:33 AM
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Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko are expected to visit Poland and Finland from the end of June to early July for over 10 days. Both countries celebrate 100 years of diplomatic relations with Japan this year.

Princess Mako is expected to visit Peru in late July for the 120th anniversary of Japanese immigration.

There are no plans for Emperor Akihito or Crown Prince Naruhito to visit foreign countries this year. Prince Akishino, as "Koshi" aka Crown Prince, will be the first member of the Imperial family to travel abroad for international goodwill after the abdication.

Source: NHK

I hope Naruhito and especially Masako get to travel abroad in 2020...
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  #187  
Old 02-01-2019, 12:26 PM
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Today, February 1, Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko visited the All Japan Nishikigoi Show in Tokyo:


** ap gallery **
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  #188  
Old 02-04-2019, 10:32 PM
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On February 4th, at a regular press conference, IHA vice grand steward Yasuhiko Nishimura announced the Akishino family will move to a temporary home near their current residence on the 10th. The Akishino residence will be renovated and connected to the nearby Akasaka East residence. Work is scheduled to be completed by end of March 2022.

The condition of the Akishino residence is bad, aging facilities and leaking pipes. Prince Akishino as Crown Prince will need more audience space, etc. After renovation, the temporary home will be used for offices and storage.

Source: Jiji
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  #189  
Old 02-07-2019, 02:39 PM
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On February 7th, the IHA released details and a photo of the temporary Akishino residence.

- 3 story reinforced concrete building
- 1378 square meters
- 1st floor for official duties
- 2nd and 3rd floors for private rooms
- 980 million yen

The current Akishino residence was formerly the residence of Prince and Princess Chichibu. The Akishino family have lived there since March 1997.

Renovating and connecting the Akishino and Akasaka East residences is estimated to cost 3.3 billion yen.

Sources: Sankei, Asahi

https://www.sankei.com/images/news/1...2070024-p1.jpg

The Asahi article claims Prince Akishino declined renovations in the past, preferring to give priority to older Imperial residences. However, Japan twitter was quick to point out that a new 2-story private section was added over 2 years (1998-2000) and renovations were made in 2006-2007 and 2011.

https://twitter.com/ami_j3/status/1093421419826896896
https://twitter.com/ami_j3/status/1093374729900109824
https://twitter.com/ami_j3/status/1093370806153895944
https://twitter.com/ami_j3/status/1093376015382937605
https://twitter.com/ami_j3/status/1093474524891295745
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  #190  
Old 02-07-2019, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prisma View Post
The Asahi article claims Prince Akishino declined renovations in the past, preferring to give priority to older Imperial residences. However, Japan twitter was quick to point out that a new 2-story private section was added over 2 years (1998-2000) and renovations were made in 2006-2007 and 2011.

https://twitter.com/ami_j3/status/1093421419826896896
https://twitter.com/ami_j3/status/1093374729900109824
https://twitter.com/ami_j3/status/1093370806153895944
https://twitter.com/ami_j3/status/1093376015382937605
https://twitter.com/ami_j3/status/1093474524891295745
Does that mean Asahi was in error about Prince Akishino declining renovations in the past, or did he decline them and later have a change of heart?
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  #191  
Old 02-07-2019, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
Does that mean Asahi was in error about Prince Akishino declining renovations in the past, or did he decline them and later have a change of heart?
Or, the cynical side of me wonders if he declined them so it could be said that he declined them, but there was always the intention to do renovations and build the addition.

And my cynical side also notes that in pre-Twitter days, there wouldn't have been any pushback on the official story that renovations had been declined.

To me, the interesting thing is that there is that pushback on Twitter, and it makes me wonder a bit if with the Akishino family's elevation in status whether there is increased interest and criticism coming their way. If so, Prince Akishino may be in for a taste of what Naruhito has had to deal with as CP.
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  #192  
Old 02-08-2019, 04:20 AM
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I'm hoping there will be an English translation soon. Asahi could mean Prince Akishino didn't want renovations but the IHA overruled him? Or the renovations were smaller and didn't cover everything needed. I'm not a huge fan of the temporary residence's small, narrow windows on the 2nd floor or the color. Hopefully the other side has bigger windows. Looks like a boring office building.

Regular maintenance is reasonable and better than a huge, disruptive overhaul. The Chichibu residence was renovated in 1972 so periodic repairs and updates would be appropriate. The Akishinos have 3 children vs. a widowed & childless Princess Chichibu, naturally they'd require more space.

From Japan wikipedia's Imperial residence page, even newer residences have undergone renovation.

Mikasa East residence (Prince Tomohito's family) was completed in 1982 with a remodel and expansion in 2004.
Takamado residence was completed in 1986 with expansions in 1991 and 2000. A warehouse was added in 2010.
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  #193  
Old 02-11-2019, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ista View Post
[...]

To me, the interesting thing is that there is that pushback on Twitter, and it makes me wonder a bit if with the Akishino family's elevation in status whether there is increased interest and criticism coming their way. If so, Prince Akishino may be in for a taste of what Naruhito has had to deal with as CP.
Criticism has already begun and as in the past, it's the wife and her family who are targeted vs directly criticizing the born prince.

Recent weekly magazines about Princess Kiko and the Kawashima family:

In early January, Daily Shincho claims staffing problems and the pressure to be perfect with 2 successors in the Akishino family.
* Allegedly, the Akishino household has always been a "difficult" work environment.
* With Prince Akishino becoming Koshi, their family's staff will increase from 20 to 51.
* Unfortunately, working conditions are severe and turnover is high. The Akishinos keep dismissing and asking the government or IHA to send new candidates.
* One employee from the transportation industry quit after a week in spring 2018.
* An assembly is held every morning where each staff reports yesterday's and today's activities and receives directions and criticism. Prince Akishino is present but passive; Princess Kiko leads this severe assembly and wants perfection.
* 2 administrative IHA staff happened to visit one morning before going to the Chiyoda office and even they found the assembly tense.
* Due to the lack and consistency in staff, the existing employees are overworked.
* Adding to the problems are schedule changes. Typically a month's agenda should be planned ahead with overnight visits planned 3 months ahead.
* Princess Kiko makes late changes, forcing the staff to quickly reschedule meetings, accommodation, etc.
* Overtime is common as is recalling staff on their days off. Sometimes temporary workers are hired from the private sector.

Another Daily Shincho article in January
* worries about the inconsistent staff's effect on Prince Hisahito
* Outside of school, Ochanomizu primary school classmates and alumni are not invited over so staff entertain Hisahito but he gets upset when he loses at cards or games. There's concern staff may let him win and that would not build his character properly.
* Prince Akishino appreciates the "independence and autonomy" policy at the Ochanomizu system yet some argue such a "self" policy has led Mako to choose the wrong marriage partner.

news-postseven on Princess Kiko's younger brother Shu
* Gakushuin high school graduate, majored in veterinary medicine at Azabu University, University of Tokyo graduate, and currently professor at Tokyo Agricultural University
* His ex-wife (divorced November 2012) is from Soma, Fukushima. He organized relief efforts to Soma and actively volunteered after the March 2011 tsunami and earthquake disaster.
* Although initially uneasy about being recognized as an Imperial relative, he seems to have embraced being known as "Princess Akishino's brother"
* 2 years ago, he was introduced as "Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Princess Akishino's brother" at a lecture about regional revitalization with horses.
* He served as chairman for an NPO "T" which was established in 2010 and originally supported social participation for people with disabilities and then switched to 2011 disaster relief/recovery efforts.
* There were problems about what happened to the donations and getting donations. Donors who gave 1 million yen got a meal with "Princess Akishino's brother"
* Shu Kawashima resigned after controversies

It's unclear whether the NPO used Shu or Shu used them or both. Anyway, news-postseven claim IHA officials are concerned about Shu Kawashima. Relatives should be discreet/downplay/avoid their connection to the Imperial family.
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  #194  
Old 02-11-2019, 03:40 PM
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Whoa. Those articles are not in the least flattering or reassuring about what goes on in the Akishino household. And yet, strangely, not at all surprising. They are also much more negative in tone than I was expecting. Somehow I am also not surprised that Kiko is viewed as being inconsiderate, perfectionist, and difficult, because that is always the vibe I have gotten from her over the years, just a tiny glimpse here, and a minute facial expression there, which of course is all we usually ever get from the Imperial family.

Of particular interest to me was the commentary about Hisahito getting upset when he loses at games, which ties in with his sisters' comments which implied he was spoiled. Very delicately, of course. He is a child, and a lot of development and change can take place between now and the time he is an adult, but I'm finding it slightly alarming that those seem to be the character traits that drew commentary, rather than more positive ones, such as respectful, hard-working, dutiful, intelligent--all of which may also apply to him, but weren't the ones that were highlighted.

The bits about Kawashima Shu are also eyebrow-raising, and certainly a contrast to CP Masako's family, although I know they have also had their share of criticism directed their way over the years.

There's a lot of information to ponder in the articles you summarized, Prisma. Thank you so much for taking the time to do that. Every nugget of information about the Imperial family is so difficult to get in the English speaking world, I really appreciate the time and effort you take to share details with those of us who are fascinated by the Japanese imperial family.
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