On 23rd February, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito turned 55 years old.
On the occasion of the birthday, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito attended the Press Conference took place at Crown Prince Residence.
Photo from Asahi
Crown prince notes significance of turning 55
Text from The Japan News
Crown Prince Naruhito underscored the significance of turning 55 on Monday, the age when his father, the Emperor, acceded to the throne.
In a press conference to mark his birthday, the Crown Prince said, “I find it sobering to reach the age when the Emperor took the throne and I am overcome by deep emotion.”
He said he has always tried to give thought to the path walked by past Emperors and also to the constitutional clause that defines the Emperor as a symbol of the state and of the unity of the people.
He pledged to continue efforts to pursue the ideal for the symbolic status of the Emperor, learning from the same efforts by the Emperor and Empress.
With this year marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, Crown Prince Naruhito said, “It is very painful to think about the fact that many precious lives were lost in the war and that many people had hard times and very sad experiences during the war.”
“I think it is important to look humbly back on the past and accurately hand down the distressing experiences as well as the history that Japan has gone through,” he also said.
The crown prince said he has shared what he knows about the war with his 13-year-old daughter, Princess Aiko. He also said there are times when Princess Aiko listens to stories about the war directly from the Emperor and Empress, her grandparents.
Regarding the annals of Emperor Showa, which were released by the Imperial Household Agency last year, the crown prince said, “They allowed me to think of the diligent efforts made by Emperor Showa in performing his duty and how much he cared about the Japanese people for more than 60 years amid turbulent times.”
Emperor Showa acceded to the throne in 1926 at the age of 25, becoming the head of state at that time, and was involved in deciding national policies during the war. His position was redefined as symbolic after the war under the pacifist constitution that came into force in 1947.
Elsewhere in the press conference, Crown Prince Naruhito said he hopes that his 51-year-old wife, Crown Princess Masako, who is in the process of recovering her health, will take her time to gradually and carefully expand the range of her activities.