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  #161  
Old 05-16-2004, 05:12 PM
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Source: The Scotsman

Crown Prince Naruhito takes a stand against the formal restrictions of the Imperial royal family's protocol and demands change.


Japan shocked as prince blames royal courtiers for wife's illness
JULIAN RYALLIN TOKYO

FOR decades they have been the hidden power behind the Chrysanthemum throne, jealously guarding the ancient traditions of the Japanese imperial household.

But suddenly senior courtiers have found themselves in the eye of a media storm, forced to defend themselves in public and suffer the indignity of being the subject of television talk shows and magazine articles.

The actions of the Imperial Household Agency have been under intense scrutiny since an extraordinary press conference on Monday by the crown prince, the direct heir to the throne.

Before he flew to Europe, Prince Naruhito, 44, explained his wife, Crown Princess Masako, would not join him as intended. He said she had been taken ill as a result of efforts to crush her individuality and subvert her personality.

"For the past ten years, she has tried very hard to adapt to the ways of the imperial family," the prince said. "To me, she appears totally exhausted from it."

A multilingual graduate of Harvard and Oxford, the princess, 40, was on the fast track for diplomats when she met the prince. They were married in 1993.

"It is true that there were moves to negate Masako’s career and her personality, which was influenced by that career," the prince said, adding that he hopes "from his heart" that she will be able to join him on future trips.

By British standards his comments might have seemed mild. But in Japan, where reading between the lines of official communications is an art form, they have sparked talk of a constitutional crisis.

The clash is on several levels. The princess is a modern, educated and intelligent woman who was clearly going places in Japan’s male-dominated society.

Since her marriage, she has been reined in and leaks indicate she was scolded for expressing her opinions and even having the temerity to walk in front of the prince on one early official engagement.

In another telling tale, at an official dinner she was seated between then-presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin and chatted in fluent English and Russian with both.

In Lesley Downer’s book The Tale of Masako, a royal watcher commented she would get in trouble for this "indiscretion"; "The Royal Family are not ambassadors. She doesn’t need to be able to speak English, she has interpreters for that. Her job is to smile."

Perhaps more importantly, at least for the agency, the princess has not yet produced an heir to the throne. The birth of her daughter, Princess Aiko, two years ago was greeted with outward joy in a dynasty that last produced the male heir required by law for the throne in 1965.

Behind the closed doors of the palace, however, consternation reigns over the fact that no son has been born. No indications are evident that Masako will bear any more children.

With the prince still out of the country, the Imperial Household Agency chief, Toshio Yuasa, said at a news conference on Thursday: "When the crown prince comes back, I want to meet him directly, listen to his true intentions and improve what I can."

But commentators suggest the scandal might not be so easy to tackle.

"The whole press conference [by the prince] was shocking to the nation and, more importantly, to the Imperial Household Agency because it was clear that he was talking directly to them," said Makoto Watanabe, a professor of communications at Hokkaido University.

"The message was ‘help us’. He was talking about the princess and the whole imperial family and the appeal was as a human being, not as a prince.

"It would not be an exaggeration to say that it is crisis time inside the agency as this appeal has to be the most shocking comment from the imperial family since the end of the Second World War."

The Scotsman
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  #162  
Old 05-16-2004, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alexandria+May 16th, 2004 - 11:05 am--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Alexandria @ May 16th, 2004 - 11:05 am)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Bubbette@May 16th, 2004 - 11:57 am
Who the heck did he have to talk to? Same at the Spanish wedding.
Why wouldn&#39;t Naruhito have anyone to talk to at the Danish and the Spanish weddings? Some of the people who atteded the Danish wedding and the upcoming Spanish wedding are his counterparts the world over. They could discuss their future roles, or what everybody else chats about: their families, world news and politics, sports, entertainment, recent trips, etc.

Naruhito not having anything to talk about with any of the other guests is absolutely ridiculous. He may not be very good friends or related to any of them, but that doesn&#39;t mean he would be completely isolated at such an occasion. That is like asking what would Farah Diba have to talk about with any of the other guests? Or what would Mary&#39;s family have to say with all the royal guests? All equally as ridiculous. [/b][/quote]
No, I meant it in a sympathetic way, meaning would he have anyone that he had met before, not in a he shouldn&#39;t be talking to anyone way. And have you not been to an event where you don&#39;t know anyone but the host? I just got back from one, and while it was fine, if I didn&#39;t have a date it would not have been as much fun at all.
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  #163  
Old 05-16-2004, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by lynn@May 16th, 2004 - 5:22 am
It&#39;s too bad that Crown Princess Masako couldn&#39;t make it. I hope she will feel better soon. Her presence was sorely missed...
Now how do you know that?
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  #164  
Old 05-16-2004, 09:14 PM
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"Other theories are that he [Naruhito] can&#39;t have children (historical inbreeding could have played a role) and his father&#39;s sperm was used for artificial insemination to make Aiko-chan" From someone on Alex B&#39;s Miller sister&#39;s board. http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=news&id=298226
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  #165  
Old 05-16-2004, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bubbette@May 16th, 2004 - 8:34 pm
No, I meant it in a sympathetic way, meaning would he have anyone that he had met before, not in a he shouldn&#39;t be talking to anyone way.
Naruhito has met many of the other royals on numerous other occasions:

Naruhito and Masako both attended the Belgian Crown Princely wedding. Phillippe and Mathilde have also paid two visits to Japan within the last 4 years at which they shared several visits with Naruhito and Masako.

Naruhito attended the Dutch Crown Princely wedding.

He has been on visits to Great Britain and members of the royal family.

Several years ago when Japan jointly hosted the world soccer games many royals attended at which Naruhito and Masako greeted them, including Albert of Monaco.

He may not know each and every one of the royals personally or be great friends with them, but he certainly knows a great deal of them.

Quote:
And have you not been to an event where you don&#39;t know anyone but the host? I just got back from one, and while it was fine, if I didn&#39;t have a date it would not have been as much fun at all.
He is a grown man. He doesn&#39;t need a "date" to have "fun" or a good time. He perhaps missed his wife&#39;s presence, but that doesn&#39;t mean that he was crying into his champagne glass the entire weekend. How imature would that be?

The younger Swedish royals, Gustav and Nathalie of Berleberg, Nikolaos and Theodora of Greece also didn&#39;t have "dates" and that isn&#39;t to say that none of them didn&#39;t enjoy themselves at the pre-wedding and wedding festivities. Many functions I attend do not permit partners and that doesn&#39;t mean that I can&#39;t have fun; it&#39;s an opportunity to talk and meet with other people.
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  #166  
Old 05-17-2004, 04:35 AM
lynn's Avatar
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Quote:
Now how do you know that?
Well, at least I missed her.... That much I know...

I really hope some reforms can be done to lessen the rigidity of the Imperial Household Agency so that the Imperial Family members&#39; personalities may shine. Masako would have been a great cultural ambassador for Japan...
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  #167  
Old 05-17-2004, 07:23 AM
Aristocracy
 
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oh&#33; What about the dancing ball,i see evrybody danced with their couple.i hope that he wouldn&#39;t be left alone too much.it would be great sadness to him really.
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  #168  
Old 05-17-2004, 09:51 AM
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It says a lot to me about Naruhito&#39;s good character that he is standing up for his wife and protecting her, as he promised her he would when they married. I&#39;m sure Masako has had a lot of strains in adjusting to her role as the Princess when she was used to a lot more freedom, so I&#39;m glad he&#39;s supporting her.
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  #169  
Old 05-17-2004, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jackswife@May 17th, 2004 - 8:51 am
It says a lot to me about Naruhito&#39;s good character that he is standing up for his wife and protecting her, as he promised her he would when they married. I&#39;m sure Masako has had a lot of strains in adjusting to her role as the Princess when she was used to a lot more freedom, so I&#39;m glad he&#39;s supporting her.
I agree 100% with you. It&#39;s one thing to for him to see the pressure his wife has been under and brush it off because of tradition, it&#39;s quite another to speak out about it. I hope that Princess Masako gets some strength out of the fact that her husband loves her and is sticking up for her.

**The part in the article where a princess need not speak english (she has translators)- killed me. I don&#39;t think I&#39;ve ever read anything soo funny in my life )
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  #170  
Old 05-17-2004, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alexandria@May 16th, 2004 - 8:31 pm


He is a grown man. He doesn&#39;t need a "date" to have "fun" or a good time. He perhaps missed his wife&#39;s presence, but that doesn&#39;t mean that he was crying into his champagne glass the entire weekend. How imature would that be?

The younger Swedish royals, Gustav and Nathalie of Berleberg, Nikolaos and Theodora of Greece also didn&#39;t have "dates" and that isn&#39;t to say that none of them didn&#39;t enjoy themselves at the pre-wedding and wedding festivities. Many functions I attend do not permit partners and that doesn&#39;t mean that I can&#39;t have fun; it&#39;s an opportunity to talk and meet with other people.
Uh, I am a *very* grown woman, and it is much nicer to have a date to have a good time, especially at weddings&#33; I am not saying he would have been crying, just bored and being forced to make more small talk than usual&#33; Those younger royals had each other to speak to, in any case.
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  #171  
Old 05-17-2004, 12:25 PM
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Japan&#39;s Crown Prince Naruhito signs the honour book at Lisbon&#39;s Belem presidential palace upon arriving for a meeting with Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio, right, Monday, May 17, 2004. Naruhito is on a five-day visit to Portugal.

http://www.polfoto.dk/Polfoto/Photo/Live/w...00723_guest.jpg

Japan&#39;s crown Prince Naruhito arrives at Lisbon&#39;s 16th century Belem tower on the bank of the Tagus river, Monday, May 17 2004. Naruhito is on a five-day visit to Portugal.

http://www.polfoto.dk/Polfoto/Photo/Live/w...00887_guest.jpg
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  #172  
Old 05-17-2004, 12:51 PM
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Very funny captions, Lyonnaise.
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  #173  
Old 05-17-2004, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dennism@May 17th, 2004 - 11:51 am
Very funny captions, Lyonnaise.
I try :P 1,2,3 gets boring and I want to make sure that everyone looks at the pictures
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  #174  
Old 05-21-2004, 07:46 AM
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Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito arrives in Madrid May 20, 2004 to attend the wedding between Spain&#39;s Crown Prince Felipe and fiancee Letizia Ortiz.

Crown Prince
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  #175  
Old 05-21-2004, 03:30 PM
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He looked happy and relaxed as he entered the banquet.
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  #176  
Old 06-14-2004, 09:08 AM
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http://www.nzherald.co.nz/latestnewsstory....ubsection=world Article on the succession "problem."
Japan divided over men-only royal succession law

14.06.2004 4.29 am

Japanese politicians from ruling and opposition parties on Sunday were divided over whether the 1947 males-only succession law should be amended to let women inherit the Chrysanthemum Throne.

The debate on whether Japan should revise the Imperial Household Law intensified after Crown Princess Masako, a Harvard-educated former diplomat, gave birth to a girl, not a boy, in December 2001.

Since then Masako has come under pressure to give birth to a boy as Japan&#39;s law currently prohibits female succession.




Thanks to S. on Alex B&#39;s Miller Sisters Board
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  #177  
Old 06-14-2004, 11:49 PM
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Thanks Bubette for the link to the article&#33;&#33;

I am happy to see the polls are showing 80% of the Japanese people want a change&#33;&#33; This prejudice needs to stop&#33;&#33;
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  #178  
Old 06-15-2004, 01:53 AM
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Well, it&#39;s hard to see what the IHA proposes to do about it even if the old dinosaurs there don&#39;t agree about having an empress. Maybe make Naruhito divorce Masako, marry some teenager, and have a baby a year until a boy comes along? I mean, they may be all-powerful, but the notion of whether the royal couples have children and what sex those children are is not exactly in their control.
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  #179  
Old 06-15-2004, 09:54 PM
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I don&#39;t think that will happen Elspeth. I believe Naruhito is very mcuh in love with his wife. It took alot of courage on his part to speak out about the Internal House Agency strict protocol which was causing his wife so much stress. What he did set precedent? I can confidently say it caught some people within the Japanese governement and the House Agency off guard. I think Crown Prince Naruhito is worried about his wife and mother of his daughter as any man would, especially if he is in love. I only hope that they get through this difficult time stronger than before.
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  #180  
Old 06-16-2004, 01:23 AM
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No, I don&#39;t see anything like that actually happening, at least I sincerely hope not. What I was trying to say is that however all-powerful these characters think they are (and they do seem to be able to keep the royal family on an incredibly short chain), making royal heirs isn&#39;t one of the things they have direct control over.

It&#39;s just sad (not to say bizarre) that they seem to think that making Princess Masako&#39;s life a living hell is somehow going to encourage her to have lots of sons.
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