Human Interest

Japan’s Princess Aiko says ready to assume more responsibility

Tokyo, Mar 17 (EFE).- Princess Aiko, the only child of Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, on Thursday expressed willingness fulfill her duties to the best of her ability in what was her first press conference, held at Tokyo’s Imperial Palace.

Aiko, who turned 20 in December, described herself as a quiet and naive person, and admitted to being shy, something she said she would try to overcome while discharging her duties as an adult representative of the Japanese imperial family.

Aiko said since she received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown from her father on Dec.1 on reaching the age of 20 – a part of the rites of the imperial family on coming of age – she felt the weight and responsibility that it brought on her.

The princess said despite her studies at at Gakushuin University in Tokyo, she would like to contribute to the imperial family by participating in each of the activities.

The princess, apart from studying Japanese literature at the university, is also receiving private English and Spanish language classes as well as lessons on Japanese history and traditional arts.

When asked about her hobbies, she said she liked taking care of animals, listening to music and taking part in sports.

The princess also expressed her condolences to those affected by the magnitude-7.4 earthquake that struck northeastern Japan overnight, leaving at least 4 dead and some 200 injured.

Despite being the only child of the emperor, Aiko cannot succeed her father to the Chrysanthemum Throne because of a 1947 law governing succession at the Imperial Household, which states that only a male descendant of the royal family can be a monarch. EFE


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