Japanese law states that all Imperial Princesses will lose their title when they marry. This happened to the Emperor's sisters and cousins. However, this is likely to change with the reform bill the government is considering. They may just pass the bill before Sayako marries.
KOSHIGAYA, JAPAN: Japan's Princess Sayako arrives at the imperial duck preserves in Koshigaya, north of Tokyo, 26 November 2004. Princess Sayako, the only daughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, plans to marry Yoshiki Kuroda, a 39-year-old Tokyo metropolitan government official, early next year.
Prince Akishino expresses regret over Crown Prince's controversial remarks
Prince Akishino expresses regret over Crown Prince's controversial remarks
Prince Akishino has broken the silence about controversial remarks that his brother, Crown Prince Naruhito, made about Crown Princess Masako in May, saying it was "regrettable" that the Crown Prince did not consult Emperor Akihito first.
Speaking at a news conference ahead of his 39th birthday on Tuesday, Prince Akishino said communication within the Imperial Household at the time was insufficient. "I think this is regrettable," he said.
It is the first time that a member of the Imperial Family has given a concrete statement on the Crown Prince's controversial comments that there were moves to deny Crown Princess Masako's personality and her career.
Prince Akishino made the remarks on the Crown Prince's comments at a news conference accompanied by Princess Kiko on Nov. 25. After saying he hoped that Princess Masako would quickly recover from the adjustment disorder she suffered, he mentioned Crown Prince Naruhito's controversial remarks about the Crown Princess, saying, "He should at least have discussed what he was going to say with His Majesty, and made the remarks after that."
Speaking on a proposed revision to Crown Princess Masako's official duties, Prince Akishino added his personal opinion that, "The things one wants to do and one's official duties are separate. I think official duties are passive."
In May, Crown Prince Naruhito raised controversy when he said, "There were moves to deny Masako's career and her personality," within the Imperial Household Agency.
Earlier in February, Crown Prince Naruhito spoke on Crown Princess Masako's situation, saying that she had faced various hardships in her life in their Togu Palace. Prince Akishino said he had not understood parts of what the Crown Prince said, so he asked him directly.
Prince Akishino avoided making a comparison with his own situation and that in the Togu Palace, saying, it was extremely unreasonable to make a comparison because the scale of the situation at the Crown Prince's palace was different. (Mainichi Shimbun, Japan, Nov. 30, 2004) http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/news/20041...dm010000c.html
Polfoto 14-12-2004 In this photo released by the Imperial Household Agency, Bulgaria's Prime Minister Simeon Saxcoburggotski's wife, Margarita Gomez-Acebo y Cejuela, right, talks with Japanese Empress Michiko, left, during she and the prime minister's audience with Emperor Akihito and Michiko at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2004. Saxcoburggotski, former Bulgarian king, arrived Monday for a five-day visit to Japan. The woman in the middle is an unidentified interpreter. (AP Photo/The Imperial Household Agency)
5TH LD: Princess Takamatsu, aunt of emperor, dies at 92
(Kyodo) _ (EDS: ADDING PRIME MINISTER KOIZUMI'S COMMENTS IN 8TH-9TH GRAFS)
Princess Takamatsu, an aunt of Emperor Akihito and a grandchild of the last Tokugawa shogun, died early Saturday at age 92, the Imperial Household Agency said, adding it has postponed a plan to announce the engagement of Princess Sayako to a public servant.
Princess Takamatsu, also known as Princess Kikuko, died of blood poisoning at 4:24 a.m. at St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo's Chuo Ward, the agency said.
Following the princess's death, the agency said it has postponed an announcement scheduled for the day that Princess Sayako, 35, the only daughter of Emperor Akihito, will marry Yoshiki Kuroda, 39, a Tokyo metropolitan government employee, next year.
The agency released no rescheduling of the engagement announcement.
Escorted by police cars, a vehicle carrying Princess Takamatsu's body left the hospital as reporters and police officers gathered outside, and arrived at her home in Minato Ward later in the morning.
All members of the imperial family -- Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, Crown Prince Naruhito, Crown Princess Masako, Prince Akishino, Princess Kiko and Princess Sayako -- later visited the home. A funeral is expected within 10 days.
Emperor Akihito and other imperial family members will go into mourning for five days beginning Saturday.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi issued a statement saying, "I am extremely sad to hear the news of her death."
"The princess contributed greatly to wider areas of society, including medical fields," he said, referring to her devotion to finding a cure for cancer.
Princess Takamatsu underwent surgery in February to remove a lump from her left breast. She had been in and out of hospital since then.
She had been in the hospital since August, and on Oct. 18 she underwent another operation for dialysis.
While in the hospital, the princess was delighted on being informed of Princess Sayako's planned marriage, according to sources close to the imperial family.
Princess Takamatsu had been confined to bed but remained conscious, reading magazines and newspapers and sometimes eating ice cream until just recently, though she was fed by an intravenous drip.
Her condition suddenly worsened around 3 a.m. Saturday, according to the sources.
The princess was the widow of Prince Takamatsu, a younger brother of the late Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa.
She had lived with agency employees at the prince's residence in Minato Ward since Prince Takamatsu died in February 1987.
The Takamatsu house came to an end because the couple had no children.
Born in December 1911, Princess Takamatsu was a grandchild of Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the last shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate regime (1603-1868).
She married Prince Takamatsu, a son of Emperor Yoshihito, posthumously known as Emperor Taisho, at the age of 18 in 1930.
After World War II, she assumed honorary presidencies of groups including the Princess Takamatsu Cancer Research Fund and an association assisting leprosy patients.
In August 1999, she was hospitalized with a broken left femur. She also suffered from a duodenal ulcer and pneumonia but recovered and left the hospital in January 2000.
In May 2003, she underwent surgery for a broken right femur.
The agency had planned to have a news conference at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Imperial Palace to announce Princess Sayako's engagement with Kuroda. The couple is to marry next year.
Although Princess Sayako, popularly known as Princess Nori, and Kuroda still have several traditional ceremonies to go through before officially declaring their engagement, the couple was to appear together in public for the first time Saturday since media began reporting on their relationship last month.
The announcement of the engagement was originally slated for last month but was postponed out of consideration for the victims of major earthquakes in Niigata Prefecture in October, according to the agency.
Princess Sayako and Kuroda had also planned to meet Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko for a greeting and have dinner with the imperial couple and Kuroda's mother Sumiko, 69, at the Imperial Palace.
In the first marriage in 45 years of a female member of the Japanese emperor's immediate family, the princess will have to relinquish her royal title after the marriage under the Imperial House Law, which stipulates a female member has to leave the imperial household if she marries someone who is not a member of it.
The two have known each other since childhood as Kuroda is a close friend of Prince Akishino, the younger of the princess' two elder brothers. The prince reportedly played a part in bringing the couple together. In the course of developing their relationship, the couple often communicated using e-mail and mobile phones, prompting some people around them to call their engagement "a love match in a new era."
TOKYO, JAPAN: (FILER) Picture taken in 2002 shows Princess Kikuko at the age of 90. Princess Kikuko, the aunt of Emperor Akihito, died in a Tokyo hospital of blood poisoning related to kidney problemsm 18 December 2004.
Japan puts off royal wedding announcement after family death
Japan puts off royal wedding announcement after family death
TOKYO, (AFP) - Japan on Saturday put on hold the long-awaited announcement that Princess Sayako would become the last of the emperor's children to marry after the oldest royal, Princess Kikuko, died at age 92.
The royal household had hoped that Sayako's marriage at age 35 would lift the gloom in Japan after a year of natural disasters. The wedding announcement was already delayed out of respect for victims of a killer October earthquake.
The Imperial Household Agency said an official statement set for Saturday on the wedding was being put off until further notice after Princess Kikuko, the aunt of Emperor Akihito, died early in the morning after years of ill health.
"We have postponed all events related to the announcement of the engagement because of the death," an agency spokesman said.
Princess Kikuko, also known as Takamatsu, the name of her royal line, died in a Tokyo hospital of blood poisoning related to kidney problems, the royal minders said.
The princess has been in and out of hospital since having a lump removed from her breast in February and had undergone dialysis.
Kikuko was the widow of late emperor Hirohito's younger brother Prince Takamatsu, who died in 1987.
She was the granddaughter of the last of the shoguns, Japan's feudal rulers until the Meiji Restoration of 1868 which gave power to the emperor and marked the start of Japan's modernization.
But Kikuko, who would have turned 93 on December 26, took an unusually modern role for someone so entrenched in the world's oldest monarchy.
She wrote for popular women's magazines and in 2002 authored an article in favor of changing dynastic rules to let a female ascend Japan's Chrysanthemum Throne.
No boys have been born to the imperial family since 1965, potentially spelling crisis for royal succession.
The pressure to produce a male heir has piled stress on Crown Princess Masako, a former career woman who withdrew from public events a year ago. She and Crown Prince Naruhito have only one child, three-year-old Princess Aiko.
Kikuko had written in her article that whether Masako has a boy was "up to the stork."
Masako's sister-in-law Princess Sayako had taken the unusual step in Japan of deciding to marry late in her 30s.
She is set to marry commoner Yoshiki Kuroda, 39, a childhood friend who works in the city planning bureau for the Tokyo metropolitan government.
News that she would wed was welcomed by Japan's department stores which reported a surge on interest in wedding-related merchandise.
Her engagement was reported on November 14 by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper and confirmed by the Imperial Household Agency, which said it was withholding the formal announcement out of consideration for earthquake victims.
Forty people died in the central Niigata region in an October 23 earthquake which was followed by hundreds of aftershocks. It followed a record 10 typhoons hitting Japan that left about 120 people dead.
Princess Kikuko was born on December 26, 1911.
Her grandfather on father's side is the last Shogun Yoshinobu Tokugawa
And,her mother was Princess Mieko Arisugawa,so her lineage is excellent.
She married Prince Takamatsu of Japan (1905 -1987), brother of the Emperor of Japan, on February 4, 1930.
1,With her mother
2,On her grandfather,Yoshinobu Tokugawa(February, 1913)
3,With her brother(1918)
4,She graduated from the school in 1929.
5,Wedding ceremony(February 4, 1930)
7,Wedding reception(February 18, 1930)
Prince Takamatsu and his wife visited 26 nations over one year and two months from April, 1930.
1,On the ship which goes to Britain(April 21, 1930)
2,Prince Takamatsu and his wife arrive in London and are greeted by a parade of guards(June26,1930)
3and4,Prince Takamatsuand his wife arriving in England at Dover, and is met by the Duke of Gloucester and an honour guard(June26,1930)
5,They arrive in London and parade to Buckingham Palace.(June26,1930)
6,They go to a Lord-Mayor-of-London-sponsored luncheon.(June27,1930)
8,Prince Takamatsu at Military Ceremony(July 2, 1930 )
10,They watch an aircraft flying over Croydon Airport with Lord Thomson, British Air Minister.
1,Prince and Princess Takamatsu of Japan leave Claridges Hotel for Victoria on their way from London to Paris.(July12,1930)
2,In Potomak Park(April6,1931)
3,Prince and Princess Takamatsu with Mayor at Liberty Bell(April 21, 1931 )
4,Photo taken in 1934
Emperor greets well-wishers at palace on 71st birthday
Emperor Akihito greeted the public Thursday on his 71st birthday, waving to crowds of well-wishers from an Imperial Palace balcony together with members of the imperial family.
The emperor will appear three times from around 10:20 a.m. through noon on the balcony of Chowa Palace with Empress Michiko, Crown Prince Naruhito, Prince Akishino and his wife Princess Kiko, and Princess Sayako.
Princess Masako, the wife of the crown prince, is not present as she is recuperating from a stress-induced illness.
In the afternoon, the emperor is scheduled to celebrate his birthday with members of the imperial family, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, House of Representatives Speaker Yohei Kono and House of Councillors President Chikage Ogi.
The emperor also plans to invite foreign ambassadors and other dignitaries for a tea ceremony in the afternoon. The celebration is being held as in the past because the five-day mourning period for Princess Takamatsu, an aunt of the emperor who died last Saturday, ended Wednesday. http://asia.news.yahoo.com/041223/kyodo/d87522vg0.html
His Majesty’s Answers to Questions by the Press on the Occasion of His Birthday, 2004, and the Activities of His Majesty the Emperor over the Past One Year
More than one year has passed since Her Imperial Highness The Crown Princess withdrew from her official duties. In May, comments made by His Imperial Highness The Crown Prince aroused various discussions, and Your Majesty has also made your own opinions known on a number of occasions through the Imperial Household Agency. Could Your Majesty tell us about your feelings at those times, and also your thoughts about the difficulties Her Imperial Highness The Crown Princess is going through, the path towards their resolution, and also your expectations for Their Imperial Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess who represent the next generation of the Imperial Family?
Although I was delighted to see the Crown Princess looking fit and well around the time of her visit to New Zealand and Australia two years ago, I was worried to hear later, that she was experiencing difficulties in pursuing her official duties and child rearing at the same time. I therefore thought that what was most important was the recovery of her health when she became easily tired and her visits to us virtually ceased around May last year.and the number of her official duties reduced.
It was under such circumstances that the Crown Prince gave his statement in May this year. I was very surprised as it was the first time for me also to hear it, and I asked him to give an explanation to the people as he used the word “movement,” which could have a serious meaning. In the ensuing explanation it became clear that the Crown Princess was dealing with a number of problems, in addition to the task of pursuing official duties at the same time as child rearing. It is regrettable if our respect for the independence of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess who maintain their own independent household has proved to be the cause of our failure to notice these various problems, even though the Empress and I had always been ready to offer our counsel had we been consulted.
Another occasion when I made my own opinions known, as you indicated in your question, was the time when the Crown Prince’s remarks were taken up by media as something directed at the Empress and myself. Although it was painful to be exposed to such speculation that had no factual basis, I made a decision that as the Imperial Family we should avoid any vindication with regard to the criticisms that had been directed at us, since they concerned almost entirely matters within the family, and I conveyed this decision to the Imperial Household Agency.
I have since listened to the Crown Prince on several occasions concerning the content of his statement, but there are still some things that I have not fully understood yet. I would like to refrain therefore from making any detailed comment at this stage.
Since the Crown Prince’s statement in May, there has also been much discussion about the Crown Prince and Crown Princess’ official duties. I think that the statement made by Prince Akishino that “official duties are passive in nature” and the statement by the Crown Prince about “new official duties in step with a particular era” are not necessarily contradictory in nature. The Empress and I have learned during the long years since our marriage that new official duties would have very little real meaning if they did not reflect individual hopes or interests, and, at the same time, official duties could newly emerge in the course of diligently carrying out the duties of one’s assignment. Although we do not know yet what kind of new official duties the Crown Prince wishes to engage in, I sincerely hope that when he starts out on such duties, he will give full consideration to the health of the Crown Princess as well as the sustainability of such new duties and their balance with existing ones. In case the existing official duties are to be reduced, it should not be done in an irresponsible manner, but the issues of timing and the position of those who make the requests for such official duties should be fully considered. I believe that it is important for the Crown Prince to specifically indicate the “official duties in step with a particular era” that he has in mind, or at least indicate a direction for them, and in so doing gain the cooperation of those around him. I sincerely hope that in frankly conveying the hopes that they now have, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess will be able to move towards the realization of those hopes and that this will bring them stability and brightness in their life together.