Monthly Archives: November 2017

Prince Akishino turns 52

On 30th November, HIH Prince Fumihito of Akishino turned 52 years old.

Prince Akishino says he’s ‘relieved’ abdication law was enacted for Emperor

Text from Japan Times

Prince Akishino, the younger son of Emperor Akihito, turned 52 on Thursday, and said he is “relieved” that an abdication law was enacted in June to allow the Emperor to pass the throne to his elder son, Crown Prince Naruhito.

“I hope (Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko) will spend time relaxing” after the 83-year-old Emperor’s abdication, Prince Akishino said at a news conference on Nov. 22, prior to his birthday.

At the same time, Prince Akishino dismissed concerns over possible dual authority between the new and old monarchs.

“I can say clearly that it is impossible” that there would be dual authority, as the Emperor plans to pass on all of his public duties to the new Emperor, he said.

Concerns over the possible dual authority arose with details of the post-retirement roles for Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko remaining undefined. Historically, Japan has seen ample cases of emperors exercising considerable political authority after they retired.

After the Emperor’s abdication, and once his older brother ascends to the throne, Prince Akishino will become first in line. Regarding his hopes, the prince said, “As it is unprecedented, there are many things that I cannot imagine. I presume (the new duties) would be done through trial and error.”

The prince said he hopes to take on the duties executed by Crown Prince Naruhito “as much as possible.” But concerning who will take on his own current duties, the prince said he needs to consult with the Crown Prince.

Regarding his eldest daughter, Princess Mako, 26, and her fiance and former university classmate, Kei Komuro, Prince Akishino said his impression of Komuro is that the fiance is “extremely honest.”

“I have met him a number of times but my impression of him has not changed,” the prince said.

The prince’s wife, Princess Kiko, 51, who also attended the press conference said Komuro had played the piano the other day after she requested it. “We shared time relaxing, listening to the gentle sound,” she said.

“I sincerely hope that the two will build and experience a happy life together,” Princess Kiko added. The couple’s wedding will be held next Nov. 4.

The prince said that he hopes to respect future decisions by his 22-year-old second daughter, Princess Kako, regarding marriage, as he has with Princess Mako. Princess Kako is now studying in Britain.

Photo from Asahi1 and 2


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State Guest from Luxembourg Vol.3

On 29th November, the members of Imperial Family attended the concert held by HRH Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg took place at State Guest House in Tokyo.

After the concert, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko bid farewell to HRH Grand Duke Henri and HRH Princess Alexandra.

Photo from Asahi


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State Guest from Luxembourg Vol.2

On 28th November, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko visited JAXA (Japan Aerospace eXploration Agency) in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture with HRH Grand Duke Henri and HRH Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg.

They took the Imperial Train from Tokyo Station to Tsuchiura Station.

They attended the welcoming ceremony took place in Tsuchiura City.

Photo from Asahi1 and 2


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State Guest from Luxembourg Vol.1

On 27th November, HM Emperor Akihito, HM Empress Michiko, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and HIH Crown Princess Masako attended the welcoming ceremony for HRH Grand Duke Henri as the State Guest and HRH Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg took place at the East Garden of Imperial Palace.

Imperial Audience

At the evening, Their Majesties held the Imperial Banquet for them at Imperial Palace.

Remarks by His Majesty the Emperor at the State Banquet in Honour of His Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg (November 27, 2017)

Text from Imperial Household Agency

I wish to extend a heartfelt welcome to Your Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, who is visiting our country as a State Guest, together with Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, in this memorable year when we are celebrating the 90th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. I am truly delighted to be able to spend this evening here with you. We regret that Her Royal Highness Grand Duchess Maria Teresa was not able to accompany the Grand Duke this time because of her health. We pray for her good health from the depths of our hearts.

Sixty-four years ago, in 1953, I attended the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. I was 19 years old. It was there that I first met your father, His Royal Highness Jean, former Grand Duke of Luxembourg, who was attending the Coronation as the Hereditary Grand Duke, together with Her Royal Highness Princess Josephine Charlotte.

Subsequently, the former Grand Duke and Grand Duchess have visited Japan a number of times beginning in 1979, including on the occasions of the Funeral of Emperor Showa and my Enthronement Ceremony, and the Empress and I have had the pleasure of seeing them every time they were in our country. Moreover, on each of our two visits to Luxembourg, the Empress and I received warm and gracious hospitality from Their Royal Highnesses former Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte, as well as Your Royal Highnesses, who were then the Hereditary Grand Duke and Grand Duchess, and other members of your family. It is our great joy that the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg and the Imperial Family of Japan have enjoyed many years of close friendship in this way.

Your Royal Highness the Grand Duke has shown a strong interest in our country from a young age, and I have been told that you conducted research on Japan during your university years. You have visited Japan many times since your first visit in 1981 as newly-weds with Her Royal Highness Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, and you contributed much to developing the relations between our two countries. I would once again like to express my delight at being able to welcome Your Royal Highness as a State Guest.

Located in the centre of Europe, Luxembourg has endured many trials and tribulations of history but has maintained its independence thanks to the solidarity of its people. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of London, which established Luxembourg as a permanently neutral and unarmed state. In the decades following World War II, your country has consistently assumed an important role in the drive toward European integration. You have also produced many leaders for Europe, including the current President of the European Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker.

Furthermore, Luxembourg has successfully made a transition of its industrial structure, from an economy led by the iron and steel industry, which used to be the engine of its economy, to an international financial centre, developing into one of the world’s most affluent welfare states. More recently, it has been diversifying into newer industries, such as information and communications technology, logistics, and space technology. Tomorrow, the Empress and I will be accompanying Your Royal Highness the Grand Duke and Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra on their visit to the Tsukuba Space Centre for a tour of its facilities.

Diplomatic relations between Luxembourg and Japan began in 1927, when Mineichiro Adachi, the first Minister of Japan to Luxembourg, presented his credentials to Grand Duchess Charlotte, Your Royal Highness’s grandmother, and over the 90 years since then, our two countries have developed friendly and cooperative relations. In recent years, in addition to political and economic relations, bilateral exchanges have been expanding by leaps and bounds in the areas of academics, culture, and tourism, including exchanges between the University of Luxembourg and universities in Japan. It gives me great pleasure to see that mutual understanding has been deepening further between the peoples of our two countries.

We are now approaching the end of autumn here in Japan, and trees are ablaze with autumn colours. I hope that the stay of Your Royal Highness the Grand Duke and Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra in Japan will be a most memorable one that serves to further promote the friendly and cooperative relations between our two countries.

I would now like to propose a toast to the good health of Your Royal Highness the Grand Duke, and to the happiness of the people of Luxembourg.

HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and HIH Crown Princess Masako

HIH Princess Mako of Akishino

Photo from Sankei, Asahi1 and 2


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Conference for Sustainability

On 25th November, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito attended the International Conference on Science and Technology for Sustainability 2017 took place in Tokyo.

Photo from Sankei


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Nagasaki and Saga Visit of Princess Akishino

From 23rd November to 24th November, HIH Princess Kiko of Akishino visited Nagasaki and Saga Prefecture. On 23rd November, HIH Princess Kiko visited Peas Park in Nagasaki City with HRH Princess Laurentien of the Kingdom of Netherland and offered flowers to the memorial cenotaph for the Atomic Bomb Victims.

On 24th November, HIH Princess Kiko and HRH Princess Laurentien visited the facility of  ceramics in Arita Town, Saga Prefecture.

On that day, HIH Prince Fumihito and HIH Princess Kiko of Akishino and HRH Princess Laurentien attended the opening ceremony of the bridge between the site of Dejima and the other side took place in Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Prefecture. Dejima was the Dutch trading post notable for being the single place of direct trade and exchange between Japan and the outside world during the 17th – 19th century.

Photo from Asahi1, 2 and 3


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Bethel Institute

On 24th November, HM Empress Michiko visited the photo exhibition of Bethel Institute of Germany commemorating the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the institution took place in Tokyo. Their Majesties once visited Bethel Institute when they visited Germany in 1993.

Photo from Asahi


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Inokashira Park

On 22nd November, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko visited Inokashira Park in Tokyo commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Park.

Photo from Asahi


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Remembering late Prince Takamado

On 21st November, the memorial service for late Prince Norihito of Takamado (1954-2002) was held at Toshimagaoka Imperial Cemetery in Tokyo.

HIH Princess Hisako of Takamado

HIH Princess Hisako, HIH Princess Tsuguko and HIH Princess Ayako of Takamado, HIH Princess Yuriko, HIH Princess Akiko and HIH Princess Yoko of Mikasa

HIH Princess Yuriko of Mikasa

Photo from Sankei


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Local Autonomy Act

On 20th November, HM Emperor Akihito and HM Empress Michiko attended the Ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the enforcement of Local Autonomy Act took place in Tokyo.

Photo from Asahi


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