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  #561  
Old 04-18-2013, 10:32 AM
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Princess Masako set to make first official overseas trip in 11 years
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Plans are being finalized for Masako, 49, to accompany her husband, Crown Prince Naruhito, to visit the Netherlands to attend the coronation of Prince Willem-Alexander of Orange on April 30. It would be the first official overseas trip for Masako since 2002 when she toured Australia and New Zealand. [...] Cabinet approval for the trip could come as early as the end of this week, sources said. Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have encouraged Masako to make the trip. They will be consulted beforehand as a matter of courtesy.

Japan's imperial family and the Dutch royal house have a history of close ties. [...] According to sources, Princess Maxima of the Netherlands contacted Masako directly to issue the invitation. Masako is said to be keen to go so she can express her appreciation for the 2006 visit.[...]

Imperial Household Agency officials consulted with Yutaka Ono, head of the princess' medical team, who accompained her during the 2006 visit to the Netherlands. Ono gave the go-ahead, citing an improvement in Masako's health condition in recent years.
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, April 18, 2013

Hello Magazine: Princess Masako of Japan to make her first overseas visit in 11 years, with very beautiful pictures
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  #562  
Old 04-18-2013, 11:27 AM
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Masako is a very beautiful women. And ohh I didn't remenber that overseas visit to Australia, so it was really 11 years.

I bet if she's going, she'll be a bit nervous, but I think it will be good for her, and she will be able to interact with the other royals as well.

This all makes April 30th even more exciting. Because I was hoping for Masako and the Duke and Duchess of Camnbridge, now its only the latter that remains confirmation, though I doubt they'll go.
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  #563  
Old 04-18-2013, 12:07 PM
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Given the update, I hope nothing prevents Crown Princess Masako from travelling to Netherlands and attending the ceremony.
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  #564  
Old 04-18-2013, 02:21 PM
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Personally, I am glad that Masako is attending the Dutch ceremony. Hopefully this is the first step in increasing her appearances in and out of Japan.
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  #565  
Old 04-18-2013, 04:07 PM
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A couple of posts abouts members of the British Royal Family have been deleted as off-topic. Thanks for your understanding!
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  #566  
Old 04-18-2013, 07:04 PM
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This is wonderful news.
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  #567  
Old 04-20-2013, 03:00 PM
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Definitely.

Princess Masako trip gets formal OK
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The Cabinet on Friday endorsed a trip by Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako to the Netherlands from April 28 to attend the coronation of a new Dutch king. [...]

The Crown Princess plans to attend the coronation ceremony and a reception. Her participation in other events will be decided after counseling with doctors on whether she is fit enough, as well as consultations with Dutch officials.
Crown princess' visit to Netherlands formally decided
Quote:
It is rare for the Cabinet to approve an overseas trip by the royal couple so soon before their departure, except for urgent cases, such as travel to attend a funeral of other countries' royal family members. [...]

Yutaka Ono, the head of the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry who is a doctor for the Crown Prince's Palace, will accompany the couple.
The royal couple is scheduled to leave Haneda airport in Tokyo by government aircraft on the afternoon of April 28, according to the Imperial Household Agency. A banquet organized by Dutch Queen Beatrix will be held in Amsterdam on April 29, followed by the coronation ceremony for Prince Willem-Alexander on April 30, a reception, a parade on water, and a reception held by the royal family. A breakfast is also arranged by the Dutch king and queen for the guests on May 1.

During the Japanese royal couple's stay, a meeting with Japanese residents of the Netherlands is also under consideration. The Japanese royal couple is expected to leave the Netherlands on May 2 and return home the following day.
By the way, they have a really cute way of putting it: the crown prince and princess will "attend the coronation of a new Dutch king". One wonders who he might be, this new Dutch king and when the public will be informed about who he is...
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(Following recent incidents, I would like to refer anybody who may think the emperors statement obvious or redundant to this thread, post #682.)
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  #568  
Old 04-21-2013, 11:47 AM
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More pictures of the Gakushuin concert last Sunday at which the crown prince and his daughter performed: 1 ** 2 ** 3 ** 4 ** 5





For more pics of Aiko (same event) please see this thread.
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  #569  
Old 04-26-2013, 11:18 AM
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Crown Princess Masako and Crown Prince Naruhito were pictured arriving at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo to meet with Emperoro Akihito and Empress Michiko on April 26, 2013.



** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 **
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  #570  
Old 04-26-2013, 11:30 AM
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Recovering crown princess headed for first official overseas visit in 11 years
Quote:
[…] The couple will attend the April 30 coronation of Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, as he ascends to the Dutch throne. The significant trip began with a simple phone call. "The caller was Princess Maxima, the wife of Willem-Alexander, who will soon become the new king," said a source in the Imperial Household Agency. "Maxima asked Masako to attend the investiture ceremony on April 30."

The last time Masako went abroad was for a two-week private trip to the Netherlands in August 2006, with Naruhito, and their daughter, Princess Aiko. They were invited by Queen Beatrix and spent two weeks at a retreat in Apeldoorn, in part to provide a rest for Masako. The Imperial Household Agency source said Masako was very grateful for that break. [...]

In May 2004, Naruhito stirred controversy when he said there were "developments that denied Princess Masako's career ... as well as her personality driven by her career." His comments led to public speculation about a gap emerging between Naruhito and Masako, on the one hand, and officials of the Imperial Household Agency, and even Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, on the other.

"Because Masako grew up abroad, graduated from Harvard University and worked as a career diplomat, it is only to be expected that she would clearly voice her opinions," said an acquaintance who has known Masako since she studied overseas. "Moreover, she was always a free-spirited and vigorous individual. I felt from the very beginning that it would be very difficult for her to enter such a closed world as the imperial household."
A source in the crown prince's household added, "After her marriage, Masako became deeply concerned about the atmosphere in the imperial household, which placed priority on suppressing one's individuality and bearing an heir. Differences arose with the emperor and empress, who were concerned about the future of the imperial family, as well as high-ranking officials of the Imperial Household Agency." [...]

RETREAT TO GET AWAY
The crown prince's family spends every summer at the Nasu Imperial Villa in Tochigi Prefecture. "At dusk, Masako would go for daily walks by herself, without even an attendant," according to a person at the villa. "While there are many paths within the villa grounds, the grass is tall in some areas, but she would still walk through such trails. That may have been an expression of her desire to get away from everyone."

A major turning point for Masako was the 2006 trip to the Netherlands.
The Netherlands is a special place for Masako because it is where her parents currently reside. Her father, Hisashi Owada, is currently a justice of the International Court of Justice at The Hague. He previously served as vice foreign minister, the highest bureaucratic post in the Foreign Ministry.
The crown prince's family also shares "family problems" with the Dutch royal house, arising from the special world both live in. […] That background was likely a major reason why the Dutch royal family extended a helping hand when Masako faced her own emotional crisis.

"In the year after the retreat in the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander visited Japan and had dinner at the Imperial Palace with the emperor and empress," said Katsumi Iwai, a former senior staff writer at The Asahi Shimbun who covered the imperial family for many years. "At that time, he said, 'During the retreat, I was surprised at the large difference in Masako between when she was bright and happy and when she felt down.' He added, 'If there is anything I can do to help, do not hesitate to ask.' " [...]

TIME FOR A DECISION
[…] "There were a number of times when the issue of Masako's official overseas trip came up, but in each case, the conclusion was reached at an early stage that it would be difficult," a Foreign Ministry official said. "However, the Netherlands is special, so there was speculation that she might be able to go. In the end, a formal reply was held off until the very last minute." An informal inquiry about an invitation was made through diplomatic channels at the beginning of March. Although a request had been made for a response by early March, no decision was reached by that time.

An acquaintance of the Owada family said, "The Owadas returned to Japan in late March and stayed for about 10 days. However, they apparently did not meet with Masako. They only said, 'Diplomatic decisions are made in a realm beyond our reach. There is not much that we can say.' " A formal invitation arrived on April 1, but still no decision had been made.
Frustrated at the lack of a decision, Noriyuki Kazaoka, grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency, said on April 11, "The deadline for responding to the Netherlands has been greatly exceeded, so there is a need to make a decision as soon as possible." However, a source at the crown prince's household said, "Masako became more glum as a result of that comment." […]

A spring garden party hosted by the emperor and empress was held on April 18 at the Akasaka Imperial Gardens immediately after the decision was made on the Netherlands trip. Masako did not attend that gathering. A former Imperial Household Agency official said, "Masako feels a very heavy burden when she has to attend an event where she will be seen by many people, as well as Shinto ceremonies. When imperial family members go abroad, even for private trips, they go to the imperial palace to conduct religious rituals. However, this time, only Naruhito will go. While there may arise criticism over such a situation, one reason that Masako likely decided to go to the Netherlands is Aiko's growth."

Masako had been worried for many years about Aiko's difficulties in attending school. However, that problem has all but been resolved. An event was held on April 14 at Gakushuin University where Naruhito and Masako seemed to be very pleased at how much Aiko had grown. One participant said, "From her second-floor seat, Masako gazed at Aiko through binoculars, and she would smile and whisper something to Naruhito. Masako seemed to be doing very well. When Naruhito and Aiko performed on their musical instruments together for the first time in a large ensemble, Masako leaned forward in her seat to watch, and she happily clapped her hands in rhythm with the music." [...] Aiko gradually returned to a more normal school life after she joined the school orchestra. That brought relief to her parents. [...]
SHUKAN ASAHI WEEKLY MAGAZIN, April 26, 2013
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  #571  
Old 04-28-2013, 05:08 AM
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Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako left for the Netherlands from the Haneda Airport in Tokyo on Sunday, April 28, 2013.



** Pic 1 ** Pic 2 ** Pic 3 ** gettyimages gallery **


All posts about their attendance at the abdication and inauguration festivities in the Netherlands should be made at the following subforum: Abdication & Inauguration 2013.
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  #572  
Old 04-28-2013, 07:39 AM
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So glad she really is coming! I know it was confirmed, but she was also supposed to attend the wedding of CP Victoria and Daniel, but in the end she didn't go. So seeing pictures of her departure makes me feel relieved and so happy.
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  #573  
Old 04-28-2013, 07:39 AM
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I'm so thrilled that Masako will be in Holland for the abdication/enthronement.
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  #574  
Old 04-28-2013, 09:44 AM
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Thanks for the photos!
It will be great to see the Crown Princely couple attending the ceremony.
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  #575  
Old 04-28-2013, 12:41 PM
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I wonder if the Akishinos will go to airport to see off the CP couple..
I knew during Naruhito's previous foreign trips they used to do so, but in recent years they have been made to look "much worthier " royals than N&M so I doubt they will do so..
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  #576  
Old 04-28-2013, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by vkrish View Post
I wonder if the Akishinos will go to airport to see off the CP couple..
I knew during Naruhito's previous foreign trips they used to do so, but in recent years they have been made to look "much worthier " royals than N&M so I doubt they will do so..
Seeing as Naruhito and Masako have already left, and there was no appearance of Akishino's, you have your answer :)
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  #577  
Old 04-28-2013, 02:05 PM
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Those pictures posted of the Crown prince and Crown princess leaving are wonderful. Thank you. MAsako looks happy. I can't get over the fact that she seems to shine when interacting with people. It is such a shame she has been sidelined. I know this is a western point of view.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:08 PM
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It must be so comforting to Naruhito to have his wive with him--to have a travelling companion who's also his partner in life. I think that Masako looks excited and happy, and I also really like her suit.
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  #579  
Old 04-28-2013, 02:11 PM
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Some more pictures: 1 ** 2 ** 3 ** 4 ** 5 ** 6 ** 7







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  #580  
Old 04-28-2013, 02:16 PM
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I'm so happy to see her again in the Royal circle. Hope it's the beginning of a new aera and that she'll have many opportunities like this to travel again in Europe.
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