Empress Masako turns 56 on December 9
Written responses for 56th birthday - IHA
- Gratitude for Emperor Naruhito, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko.
- Gratitude for the public for their warm welcome.
- Happiness she was able to participate in succession events and they concluded as scheduled.
- Sadness, condolences and concerns about victims and damage from Typhoon No. 19, natural disasters in Japan and globally, recent death of Dr. Tetsu Nakamura in Afghanistan, many environmental problems such as plastic waste, problems such as poverty and child abuse in Japan, and ongoing conflicts and civil wars in the world.
- Mentions joyful events such as 2019 Rugby World Cup, Akira Yoshino winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
- Next year's Olympics and Paralympics will be another opportunity for international exchange.
- Hopes Princess Aiko will cherish her last year of high school to the fullest, wishing her new experiences and learning while valuing gratitude and compassion.
The birthday schedule includes the usual congratulatory events, 1:30pm visit to Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko, and 7pm family dinner at Akasaka Imperial residence with Princess Aiko, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko, Crown Prince Akishino family, and Kuroda couple.
Press release from Her Majesty's medical team - IHA
- Masako's activities have expanded and her condition is steadily improving: 4 regional visits, focus on succession ceremonies, and events such as the annual Japanese Red Cross meeting, US state visit, French official visit, etc.
- She remains under medical treatment. Fatigue happens after big/long/consecutive events. Excessive expectations are counterproductive.
- Expansion of private activities is important for recovery.
Photos and video taken on December 3: Asahi gallery