Princess Aiko is now four years old and she will attend Gakushuin Kindergarten starting this April. I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to many people who are warmly watching over her. This year, she is experiencing various things through group activities with other children around her own age at the "National Children's Castle," and I think it has been a good opportunity for her to receive various educational stimuli. Furthermore, at my residence she continues to have gymnastic lessons and study music when the "National Children's Castle" is closed. I believe that engaging in activities with children of a slightly different age range is also meaningful.
Recently, she often plays games such as iroha-garuta and shinkei suijaku, and like the previous year, at this New Year's she pounded mochi, played Japanese card games, flew a kite, and played with a top. I believe Princess Aiko has been able to experience traditional Japanese play. Last year, through growing vegetables in the garden, I think that she was able to experience the joy of watching vegetables grow and then harvesting them. I was impressed to see her go down to the garden to water the plants every day. Now she is looking forward to picking strawberries. She took the products of her garden to Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress or gave them to friends, and she seems to enjoy sharing things with everyone.
I sometimes catch glimpses of her thoughtfulness toward us and the people around her. Even on the evening of the birthday of Princess Masako last December when Princess Masako was in bed with a cold, she visited Princess Masako's bedroom, bringing the Princess' birthday cake, in order to express her gratitude for the care that she had received when she had caught a cold before that. It also appears that at the "National Children's Castle" she lends a hand to children who are younger than her, saying, "When I could not do it, such and such a person helped me."
It is worth pointing out that on New Year's Day this year when we were going to the Imperial Palace, it seems that she saw all the reporters and other people standing at the gate and said, "Everyone is standing out in the cold, so I will wave my dog's paw at them."
She is also very interested in sumo wrestling. When she wrestles with us or our staff members, she reenacts the sumo wrestling techniques. She also reads the names of sumo wrestlers in kana in a book about sumo, and remembers well the first and last names of sumo wrestlers. For example, she remembers Yokozuna Asashoryu as "Asashoryu Akinori." She sometimes writes these names in hiragana. To be honest, she is better than me when it comes to the names of sumo wrestlers. When she watches sumo matches on TV, she comes up with phrases like, "Dare dare ni hoshi ga tsuita yo. Ureshiina. (I am happy that such and such a wrestler won.)" in seven-and-five syllable meter. I want to watch lovingly over her eagerness and independence, while cherishing her childlike curiosity and humor.
At the same time, I have heard that self-assertiveness gets stronger at the age of four. Nevertheless, the rules and manners of society are important, and I believe that it is important to gradually teach her and have her gain an understanding of these things. It is probably necessary to also share information about raising children with parents in our generation while valuing the advice of the generation of our parents, who have vast experience in parenting.
I believe that excursions are good chances for Princess Aiko to get to know the outside world. She also has more opportunities to greet guests when they visit our residence. From time to time we visit the Imperial Palace, and Princess Aiko appears to be always looking forward to going. She will be entering kindergarten shortly, and we would like to treasure the time that we have until then and allow her to have as much different experience as possible.
With regard to the education that Princess Aiko will receive as a member of the Imperial Family, I think it should be considered at a slightly later stage. At the time when I myself entered kindergarten, I believe that there was emphasis on my growing up as an individual child. Nevertheless, I remember that when I entered kindergarten, which was the first place where I experienced group learning, my parents, now Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress, went out of their way to help me in various ways. In particular, it seemed that they thought about various things such as the development of my physical strength so that I could have fun playing with other children after I entered kindergarten. This included things like having me jump, skip, run, or climb trees. They trusted the school policies, and I am grateful to them for entrusting the schools with everything.
My memories of my first year of kindergarten are fragmentary, but I still have them, so I am deeply moved by the fact that our child is approaching this age. Princess Masako is also devoted to child rearing, and we make sure that we have many opportunities to discuss things together. From here on, we will respect the educational policies of the teachers at Gakushuin Kindergarten, and hope that through playing with children of her own age at kindergarten Princess Aiko will learn various things including the rules of society and that she will grow up in good health.
Crown Prince Naruhito speaks to the media at his residence Togu Palace in Tokyo March 10, 2006, ahead of his visit to Mexico. Naruhito will attend the World Water Forum, which will be held in Mexico City on March 16-22, on his third visit to the country since 1992
Japan prince says royals should adapt to the times
"While honouring the duties we have been doing, I would like to find and perform duties that meet the modern times and those that we can do because we are of this generation," Naruhito told reporters ahead of an official trip next week to Mexico.......................
Naruhito said his wife was now feeling better, enjoying watching their 4-year-old daughter, Aiko, grow up and busy making preparations for her to start nursery school in April............... http://asia.news.yahoo.com/060310/3/2h4vf.html
Crown prince shows desire to address water-related issues
...............He will make a keynote speech on "Edo and Water Transportation," in which he will explain the role of water transportation as well as water supply for the development of Edo, which is now Tokyo. Edo was the de facto capital of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603-1867)................ http://asia.news.yahoo.com/060310/kyodo/d8g8nn0od.html
Japanese Prince Says Wife's Health Better
..............."Masako is recovering steadily but slowly," Naruhito, 46, told a news conference at his Togu palace ahead of his scheduled trip next week to Mexico, where he will deliver a speech at an international water summit. "But she is not well enough to perform overseas official duties that involve a long trip."........................"I truly hope there will be an opportunity to visit a foreign country with Masako as soon as possible," the Crown Prince said...................... http://www.dailycomet.com/apps/pbcs..../API/603100793
Japan Crown Prince: Crown Princess Masako's health improving but not fully
..............Crown Princess Masako, a Harvard-Oxford educated former diplomat, has been receiving counseling and medication for stress-induced depression since she retreated from official duties in late 2003...............The crown prince said his 43-year-old wife has taken private outings more often and accompanied him on some official duties recently under her doctor's recommendation. She is also enjoying preparing for their 4-year-old daughter Princess Aiko's enrollment in the kindergarten next month, he added.....................During the six day trip beginning March 15, Naruhito will also make a brief visit in Vancouver, Canada, before returning to Tokyo on March 21. http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/nation...na027000c.html
Japan's four-year-old Princess Aiko, center, accompanied by her mother Crown Princess Masako, bids farewell to her father Crown Prince Naruhito before his departure at their residence Togu Palace in Tokyo for a weeklong visit to Mexico Wednesday, March 15, 2006. Naruhito will attend an international water summit and meet Mexican President Vincente Fox during his visit.
More than 300 Japanese to attend world water confab in Mexico
..............Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito, who served as honorary president of the previous water forum in Japan in 2003, is expected to deliver a keynote speech on the second day of the one-week event for discussions on how to better manage water resources............... http://asia.news.yahoo.com/060315/kyodo/d8gbp59o6.html
Japan's princess pleases public
...........and her family put on a united front as they met the media outside their home in Tokyo..........The princess, who wore a cream suit, held her daughter's hand as the snappers captured the moment. Her husband had previously given assurances that she was continuing to make progress in her recuperation...................... http://people.monstersandcritics.com...pleases_public
Crown Prince Naruhito departs for Mexico to attend international water meeting
............Crown Prince Naruhito, who had postgraduate studies on the history of water canals at Oxford University's Merton College in 1983-1985, is to deliver a keynote speech at the Fourth World Water Forum opening Thursday in Mexico City..................... http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/nation...na019000c.html
Press Conference by His Imperial Highness The Crown Prince on the Occasion of His Visit to Mexico (2006) Date: 10 March 2006 At the ResidenceQuestion 2
Please tell us what Your Imperial Highnesses talked about as a couple concerning the fact that Her Imperial Highness Crown Princess Masako is foregoing this visit and your preparations for the visit. Moreover, please tell us your thoughts on future overseas visits as a couple. Answer 2
In spite of receiving an invitation from the Government of Mexico for the two of us to visit the country, it is very regrettable that we are unable to return this courtesy. Princess Masako herself very much regrets that she is unable to make the visit. On the occasion of meeting the President, I, on behalf of Princess Masako, intend to convey her regards.
Princess Masako is, although gradually, making a steady recovery, and indeed recently she has become able to carry out some official duties as a step towards recovery. However, she has not yet recovered to the point where she can fulfill such official duties as overseas visits which require traveling over long distances and are carried out over an extended length of time. My solo visit to Mexico this time is a decision that was made upon consultations with the doctors.
Regarding this visit, I have been showing Princess Masako the photo album from my previous visits to Mexico and have been sharing my memories of those visits. In fact, I heard that Princess Masako has once visited Puerto Rico because one of her close friends when she was attending university in the United States was from Puerto Rico. Although it seems that Princess Masako has not been to any other Latin American regions, we sometimes talk about her recollections of her experiences with Latin America including Latin American culture. I sincerely wish that the time will come soon when Princess Masako and I can go overseas together.
Related Question 1
How is Her Imperial Highness Princess Aiko taking your visit to Mexico? Please tell us, if anything, what you have said to her regarding this visit. Answer 1
I have told Princess Aiko that I will be traveling to Mexico and then to Canada for a total of approximately a week starting next week, but I presume she does not fully understand that I will be away for a week in countries across the ocean. However, I also think that in her own child's way she has a vague idea that I will be away from Japan in some other country for a total of a week. There are still a few more days until I leave, so during the next few days, I would like to talk to her a little bit about Mexico in a manner that is easy for a child to understand.
Photos from Profimedia
Below photos: Japan's prince Naruhito during the opening ceremony of the Water World Forum 16 March, 2006 in Mexico City. The World Water Forum opened in Mexico City Thursday with a dire warning to urgently improve global water management to ensure there is enough for everyone. According to the World Water Council, 20 to 30 billion dollars (euros) per year are needed to attain the UN goal of halving by 2015 the number of people who do not have access either to potable water or to proper sanitation.
Below four from Reuters
Below 2 from AP
Japan's crown prince delivers message at world water confab in Mexico
..........Speaking in English he said he is pleased to see that since the previous forum held in Japan, "many serious global activities have taken place in various regions of the world,".........The crown prince, however, said "little progress has been made despite continuous efforts by many people of the world," especially on the water supply and sanitation issue included Millennium Development Goals proposed by the United Nations, and expressed his "sincere hope" that this World Water Forum will make a big step towards the solution of water problems................ http://asia.news.yahoo.com/060317/kyodo/d8gd0bh89.html
#1-3: (Photos from Profimedia) Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito visits the Dolores Olmedo Museum in Mexico City 16 March 2006.
#4: (AP) Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito, visits the Canals at Xochimilco, a zone popular with tourists in Mexico City, Mexico, the site of the Fourth World Water Forum on Thursday March 16, 2006.
#5: FNN news video- http://meta.cdn.yahoo-streaming.jp/c...1&media=wm300k
#6: Polfoto-Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito, at Xochimilco, a zone popular with tourists in Mexico City, Mexico, the site of the Fourth World Water Forum on Thursday, March 16, 2006.
Address by His Imperial Highness The Crown Prince of Japan
on the Opening Ceremony of the Fourth World Water Forum
on March 16, 2006, in Mexico City
His Royal Highness,
Co-chairs of the International Organizing Committee,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to attend the Fourth World Water Forum here in Mexico City, together with so many participants from nations all over the world.
I participated, as Honorary President, in the Third World Water Forum, held in Japan three years ago. The Third Forum was attended not only by representatives of states and international organizations but also by many people including representatives of non governmental organizations, all of whom joined in the discussions on water issues. I feel that the Third Forum contributed greatly to producing many concrete commitments and to enhancing the awareness of world water issues. I myself was able to deepen my understanding of various water problems that the world faces.
I am pleased to see that, since then, many serious global activities have taken place in various regions of the world, including the establishment of the United Nations Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation and the launching of the International Decade for Action "Water for Life" 2005-2015. In addition, we see developments, in Africa, with the strengthened activities of the African Ministers' Conference on Water and, in the Asian and Pacific region, with a new movement towards the creation of the Asia-Pacific Water Forum.
Unfortunately, however, little progress has been made, despite continuous efforts by many people of the world towards dealing with water supply and sanitation issues included in the Millennium Development Goals. It is also of utmost urgency and importance that measures be taken to cope with an increasing number of water-related disasters, such as the Indian Ocean Tsunami and major hurricanes and typhoons, resulting in so much serious damage to so many people.
The main theme of the Fourth World Water Forum is "Local Action for a Global Challenge". The Forum reinforces the actions for commitments started at the Third World Water Forum. I welcome this trend and hope that it will lead to the improvement of water-related issues in all regions of the world.
From early history, this region of Mexico has enjoyed the prosperity of very advanced civilizations such as the Maya. I have been informed that, today, here in the United Mexican States, the central and local governments are cooperating to overcome the water problems that are different in the northern and the southern parts of the country.
At the 2005 World Exposition, held in Aichi, Japan, last year, the pavilion of the United Mexican States successfully exhibited the relationship of water, nature and civilization. It was recognized with the Nature's Wisdom Award by the panel of judges at the Exposition. I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the government and the people of Mexico in this respect. Finally, I wish to express my sincere hope that this World Water Forum, held at the invitation of the government of the United Mexican States, will mark a big step towards the solution of water problems that the world continues to face. From Kunaicho website
Japan's prince Naruhito delivers a speech during the Magisterial Conference on water at the the IV World Water Forum 17 March, 2006 in Mexico City. The Forum, to be held until March 22, gathers international agencies, government officials, scientists and public organizations to raise awareness about water resource issues around the world.
Photos from Profimedia
Photos from Reuters
Japan's crown prince makes keynote speech at World Water Forum
................It was the first keynote speech at an international conference abroad for the crown prince. In his speech titled "Edo and Water Transportation," he explained the role of water transportation as well as water supply for the development of Edo, which is now Tokyo............."Water management is a major challenge today," and the solution has to be along the history and tradition of the region because "that is the best way to find the solution," the crown prince said........... http://asia.news.yahoo.com/060317/kyodo/d8gdi28o0.html
Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito visits the Liceo Mexico-Japones school in Mexico City March 17, 2006.
Keynote Speech by Prince Naruhito of Japan (from IISD.ca)
Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan gave a keynote address on Edo (currently Tokyo) and water transport, drawing parallels between water infrastructure development in England and Japan and how these contributed to the Industrial Revolution in the case of England and to the growth of Edo since the 17th Century. He outlined the development of water engineering solutions and their use in modern water infrastructure.
On the history of water management in Edo, he highlighted several water management and infrastructure projects, including an eastward diversion of the Tone River from Tokyo Bay into the Pacific Ocean, land reclamation through drainage, and Japan's oldest Minuma-dai irrigation canal.
In closing, he noted the special relationship between people and water that has contributed to the creation of present-day Tokyo, and encouraged participants to draw inspiration from pioneering water management solutions throughout history as well as from local knowledge.
Crown Prince Naruhito visits Maya ruins
.............Donning a straw hat to fend off near 40 C temperatures, he climbed to the top of the House of the Magician, a 32-meter-high pyramid the Mayans built for rain-making rituals................... http://asia.news.yahoo.com/060319/kyodo/d8gee74o0.html
#10: ANN news
#1: Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito walks down a path during a visit to Celestun, Mexico, Sunday, March 19, 2006.
#2: Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito looks out over a cenote, or sinkhole, during a visit to Celestun, Mexico, Sunday, March 19, 2006. #3-9:Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito travels along a river at a nature reserve called Ria Celestun in Yucatan, Mexico, March 19, 2006. #9: Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito takes some pictures during a visit to the Ria Celestun biosphere reserve, where the pink flamingos nest, in the state of Yucatan, Mexico, 19 March, 2006.